Craft Beer Coopery founder Trevor Lowder wants you to ask a mate today: R U OK?

"It's OK to talk": Trevor Lowder wants men to open up to their mates. Picture: John Veage

Craft Beer Coopery founder Trevor Lowder wants men to ask a mate today: R U OK?

Mr Lowder, of Lilli Pilli, started his business almost four years ago, with the aim of getting men to talk about their mental health issues.

He had struggled with his own mental health for years, after witnessing his older brother's accidental death, leaving him battling depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that almost led him to take his own life.

He got help after confiding in his wife, but then had to battle the stigma that surrounded his diagnosis.

He was doing some marketing consultancy work with the organisers of RU OK? Day when he realised there were many men like him who struggled to talk about their feelings. He decided to put together a carefully curated beer pack and snacks, which come with coasters designed to encourage men to start a conversation about mental health in a format they understood - over a beer.

Mr Lowder said he wants to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

"One in four people in any given year will experience anxiety or depression," he said.

"In my experience, the more that 'normal' people talk about mental health challenges the more other normal people are willing to talk about how they feel."

Mr Lowder said the biggest single thing someone can do to help someone else who might be struggling was simply to talk.

"We all can make a difference by starting simple conversations with our family and friends about mental health, be it our own or theirs," he said.

"The old adage is still true - a problem shared is a problem halved.

"It's important to remember that on the outside people may appear to still have it all together, however the pressures of life right now can affect anyone."

Details: To find out how to start a conversation with someone about their mental health click here.

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