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No More Stigma

Emma Grey

I don’t know a single family that hasn’t been touched in some way by depression.

So it’s unsurprising when Beyond Blue explains that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and that an estimated 45 percent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Talking about depression comes more easily to some people than to others. There are some environments where speaking up has been traditionally more difficult. All-male environments have historically tended to be challenging for those experiencing mental illness.

Xavier Eales is college captain at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview. He recently addressed his school assembly on the topic of his long struggle with depression. The strength, openness and leadership he displays in this speech are a gift to those who were there on the day and to everyone who has had the privilege of watching this speech since.

I’ve shared this with my husband, sister, parents, friends and daughters. One day I’ll share it with my little boy.

My friend, who volunteers with youth at risk, puts it best: “This is an amazing speech. I volunteer in youth suicide prevention and I wish there were more young men who would stand up and speak as honestly and openly as Xavier has – THIS is what we need to start turning the tide – this, a thousand times over until the message is clear. #nomorestigma”.

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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