GLENN Manton wants you to slow down. The youth advocate and former Carlton AFL footballer wants to provoke genuine discussion on mental health.
Wherever Manton travels for work, he has found the main themes to struggles with mental health come back to communication, relationships, personal development and the discussions everyone needs to have.
Discussions need not be prescriptive, Manton said, but honest talks about what was going on – and that means putting the handbrake on.
In his extensive experience, particularly working with young people, Manton said the impact of advancing technology had been huge.
It has this process of speeding everything up and wanting to attain new things, comparing ourselves unnecessarily or unfairly to others.Glenn Manton, Whitelion co-founder
“Issues seem accented or heightened with technology...young people in particular, aren’t being given the tools to work through the constraints,” Manton said.
“In the modern age we’re jumping every week to new technology, new apps. That creates a lot of fear and trepidation in young people.”
Manton was guest speaker for the Walking Off the War Within launch in Ballarat on Friday. He was joined by Bungaree football export Danny Frawley, who opened up publicly about his own mental health struggles in 2017, and beyondblue ambassador Kym Frost.
Walking Off the War Within started two years ago, led by emergency services and military personnel, to honour Ballarat-raised firefighter and former soldier Nathan Shanahan, who took his own life in December 2016.
Manton said he was one of the few AFL footballers in his era to have a forward strategy in place when he left the game and he still struggled with the career transition. He said this was nothing compared to the stress and strains of emergency services and soldiers.
But transition could be tough, Manton said, and for young people this was often in moving from high school to university studies.
Manton said more support and awareness in mental health was vital, and focused efforts in events like Walking Off the War Within thoughtfully provoked discussion.
Walking Off the War Within Ballarat challenge starts at St Patrick’s College on March 23.
If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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