Gotcha4Life (G4L) and long-time charity partner Chemist Warehouse hosted an impactful event at The Apollo to educate and spread awareness about the importance of mental fitness and encourage open communication.

The event featured a powerful panel discussion with Gotcha4Life Founder Gus Worland, G4L ambassador Cam Merchant, and mental health advocate and L’Oréal Paris Men ambassador Tarang Chawla.

Gus began the discussion by sharing a deeply personal story about losing a close friend to suicide. “A man that I truly loved, who was like a father figure to me, took his life on the day his third child finished the HSC. It absolutely nailed us as a family and a community,” Gus said. “Suicide doesn’t discriminate. We lose seven men and two women every day in Australia. That’s nine Aussies every day, plus 65,000 attempts each year. These discussions are crucial.”

Gus  highlighted the need for these conversations, emphasising that learning to look after loved ones and being vulnerable are essential skills. “Learning how to look after your village, the people you love, and being brave enough to be vulnerable are probably the most important things we can learn,” he said. “That’s why I started Gotcha4Life.”

Cam, who has been open about his mental health struggles, added, “It’s okay to not be okay. By sharing our struggles, we can support each other and create a more understanding and compassionate community.”

Tarang, a mental health advocate, provided practical advice on starting difficult conversations. “Starting tough conversations can be daunting, but it’s crucial for our mental health,” he emphasised. “We need to be brave and open up about our feelings to improve our mental fitness.”

The event also touched on the critical role pharmacists play in mental health care. “Pharmacists can do so much more than just dispense medication,” Tarang said. “They need to remember that patients are more than just their dosage of medication; they are human beings. By providing patient-centred care, pharmacists can create positivity in every interaction, especially for those taking mental health-related medication.”

The discussion emphasised that every person who seeks help is going through something significant, and the support they receive can make a substantial difference. “We want to add to their life and make it better, not worse,” Tarang said.

Gus expressed gratitude for the continued support from Chemist Warehouse and their brand partners. “We thank L’Oreal Paris Men Expert and Gillette for their ongoing support of Gotcha4Life,” Gus said. “Their partnership helps us reach more people and spread our message of mental fitness and open communication.”

Attendees were reminded of the available resources for those needing additional support. “If the themes discussed today raised difficult emotions, please be kind to yourselves and talk to a trusted friend, your doctor, or a mental health professional. There are also free services and people to talk to if you continue feeling distressed,” said Gus.

Images from the launch event below:

If you need someone to talk to, call:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890

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