Australian cyclist Alistair Donohoe, local dad and kayak fisherman Ben Bischoff and Zenko Yoga instructor Lauren Verona are participating in the Movember campaign. Picture: Lacee Froeschl
Australian cyclist Alistair Donohoe, local dad and kayak fisherman Ben Bischoff and Zenko Yoga instructor Lauren Verona are participating in the Movember campaign. Picture: Lacee Froeschl

More mo chat will help mental health grow

Sunshine Coast cyclist Alistair Donohoe wants men to realise chatting about their mental health is OK.

Mr Donohoe has this year jumped on board as the official Movember ambassador in the campaign’s 17th year.

He’s on a mission to help spread the word and help stop men dying too young.

Sippy Downs dad Ben Bischoff is right at his heels.

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When the 43-year old suffered a personal “speed bump” in life about five years ago, he found solace in kayak fishing.

“(Movember) is a lot about the conversation for me, and catching up with people,” he said.

“2020 has been a pretty big year … so I think all of those emotions are boxing up a bit more than previously.”

Movember global director of mental health and suicide prevention Brendan Maher said it was important to find a release.

“Many guys are isolated and disconnected from their usual social support networks,” he said.

“And the places where men usually go to have those shoulder-to-shoulder conversations with their mates, like going out for a drink or a bite to eat, watching or play sport, or going to the gym, have been severely reduced.”

Zenko Yoga Studio instructor Lauren Verona, who has supported Movember for the past seven years, said yoga was a good alternative.

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“If one man is coming regularly to the yoga practice and reaping the benefits of meditation, you’re going to see changes in his life, sleep pattern, family life, workplace,” she said.

“Just an hour of practice where they get to come and move their bodies and still their minds makes a significant difference.”

The yoga studio is offering a free month for new male members during November.

Mr Bischoff is also hosting his second annual “Row for a Bro” kayaking event, encouraging locals to come along for a paddle, fish and a chat along the way.

They hope to encourage “mo bros” and “mo sisters” to rally in support of men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.


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