Old Boy Hamish Blake recently appeared in the ABC iview series ‘If Only I Knew: Your Mental Health Monologues’. The series is an insightful one, and Hamish talks to his younger self along the theme of ‘what do you know now that you wish you knew earlier in life’. Hamish thought it was a great opportunity to instil some wisdom into kids that may be feeling the same way. “I had a think about that time in my life when I was 13/14 and thought that, with about 25 years of water under the bridge, I’d had enough time to refl ect on my life. So many of the things I remember holding on to so tightly back then were not the right things to hold onto. Perhaps, there would be a 13 or 14-year-old kid out there who felt the same way that I might be able to gently plant a seed in the mind of.” In his video, Hamish speaks about mental health and the struggles and insecurities his teenageself experienced. While the experience for kids is a little diff erent these days (especially with the advent of social media), Hamish still sees the importance of speaking about mental health. “It’s a lot harder these days. However, I have hope that the conversation about mental health and reducing the stigma around it has progressed since the 90’s. So, if things like social media and other issues are weighing heavily on someone’s mind, the message is there that it’s totally normal to feel these things, and it’s OK (in fact, more than OK, encouraged) to talk about it.” Hamish also speaks to the importance of kids being ‘yourself’ and building courage. “I think in your teens is all about discovering who you are, and trying to have the courage to be you rather than trying to manufacture something you think is what the world expects of you. I think a big step is realising that the things you feel, and things that interest you, even if they don’t line up with what seems to be happening around you, are where you should invest your energy.” Hamish is now a parent to young children, and believes that kids should be encouraged in discovery. “Taking an interest in your boy’s world, the things that matter to him, even if it seems trivial, is a good bridge to build the space to talk about mental health and well-being.” You can view Hamish’s video here: https://iview.abc.net.au/show/if-onlyi-knew-your-mental-health-monologues

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