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Episode Info:

In this episode of the podcast, you will meet Michael Donehue. Throughout his life Michael has battled depression and alcohol abuse, and has also had loved ones affected by mental illness and substance addiction which has fuelled his passion to bring these issues into the community for discussion.
Michael has vast experience as a mental health advocate with a number of different organisations. Michael’s key messages are all about normalising a difficult conversation, surrounding yourself with the right people and finding your key coping mechanisms to stay on top of life.
I invited Michael on the show to have a conversation about his experience of managing his mental wellbeing, especially in these times we are living in. In Melbourne we are now in lockdown #2 (but this situation could just as easily be experienced anywhere else), back into homeschooling, with things that had opened up have now closed back down again, economic uncertainty, relationship struggles, parenting challenges, loneliness, destructive coping mechanisms, deep bone weariness - a lot of people are not coping very well already and struggling with where we are. The first time round was almost a bit of a novelty; this time we are all starting to become aware that how we are now living is maybe a new normal. And somehow we need to adjust to it and to be ok with it, so that we can stay well.
These are strange times that we are living in. As social beings, we are missing an extremely important part of what makes us human - physical contact, face to face connection and socialising with our communities. With physical distancing, social isolation, working from home, home schooling, gyms being closed, sports cancelled, recreational activities on hold and "normal" life taking on a new sense of normal, it is extremely important that we stay connected, reach out to people and let people know how we really are. Conversations are the glue that binds us together and as Mick says - the best tool that any of us have to connect are our two ears, so that we can listen.
None of us is alone. And none of us needs to feel like we are on our own either. If you are not feeling great, who can you reach out to today to talk with?

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