Founder of ‘Mr. Perfect’, Terry Cornick (above), reveals the best ways for blokes to maintain a healthy mind.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Australian men, so after his own battles with the Black Dog, Terry Cornick founded grassroots mental health network Mr. Perfect to help other blokes fight their own battles.
“It came together gradually after some key events in my life. I spent most of my life hiding depression, anxiety and PTSD but once I hit 30 I decided it was time to sink or swim. My dad had just passed away, I quit my corporate job, I was getting married and I knew if I were to have a family I needed to be in a better mental state,” Terry explains.
“Everyone on the outside thought I was Superman and my best mate joked unknowingly and would tease me and call me ‘Mr. Perfect’. I figured if I am ‘coping’ then there will be a hell of a lot of other men out there that need help.
“When I finally took the plunge and sought help, I wondered why I had waited so long. I had to accept there was an issue and once I opened up I experienced more positive support that I had ever imagined.
“Mr. Perfect is aiming to make men’s mental health a comfortable discussion and facilitate conversation and connection through authentic personal stories, awareness, education and interaction.”
Here are Terry’s five tips to help your own mental health . . .
“I love football and try to play weekly. For me a good mix of team sport and individual training works, like the gym, tennis or boxing, for example.”
A healthy relationship with alcohol
“Despite not being a binge/weekend drinker (like I was when I lived in the UK), I tended to drink small amounts but regularly in the past few years. I recently did Dry January as it was becoming far too normal an occurrence. Now I aim to have a few beers or a couple of red wines on the weekend as a ‘treat’ but it’s a tightrope of a relationship that many men struggle to keep the balance with.”
Strong support networks
“I’m now incredibly lucky to have a family I can talk to openly when I feel a ‘cloudy spell’ coming. A handful of my closest mates are also involved in Mr. Perfect and we’ve gone from never talking about mental health to now encouraging checking in with each other and reaching out when we’re struggling.”
“With an 11-month-old son that is my world, that keeps me busy enough. I also love reading when I get time, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. I do have to keep busy as when I’m not, the darkness can easily creep up on me. And of course Mr. Perfect is proving to be a good tool to provide me purpose.”
Managing stress and getting enough sleep
“My stress can rise sharply in moments so I rely heavily on getting space when I need it. That may be walking down to the beach on my own for half an hour or taking my son to the park. Seven hours sleep usually is enough for me but I have to be strict with getting to bed at a decent hour as I’m an early bird.”
See Terry speaking about how he started Mr Perfect and learn more at mrperfect.org.au