Jeremy Burgess knows all too well the negative effects of poor mental health.
To help combat the stigmas surrounding men's mental health Mr Burgess is launching The Man Walk in Warrnambool and is hoping other men will jump on board the cause.
"A lot of blokes don't want four walls and a person to talk too," he said.
"Blokes have a lot of pride and tend to hold in their feelings because we think we have to be tough.
"But deep down we're only human and things can go wrong in life; everyone's tested in different ways.
"The Man Walk is a way we can come out to the breakwater, clear our heads and create a community."
Mr Burgess said walking had helped him and The Man Walk could become a base for all men to find some comfort if they were struggling.
"You see the statistics for suicide in men and it's not great," he said.
"I've had depression and anxiety since I was probably a teenager. But it wasn't until three or four years ago that I decided to seek help.
"In the end it was a no-brainer decision.
"I still have ups and downs but I'm a lot better."
The Man Walk was founded in New South Wales by Mark Burns when he wanted to make a change in his routine to help his mental health. A few of his mates joined him and the idea grew from there. Today, there are 70 walks across Australia.
Mr Burgess began reading about the group and thought Warrnambool should have its own.
"It takes courage to come and walk and then more courage to feel comfortable to talk," he said.
"Men can come along and talk about anything they like; sport, cars, what's happening on the weekend, it doesn't have to be about mental health.
"For the first one or two walks I may be the only one walking, but at least it's a positive start."
The Man Walk Warrnambool will kick off from The Pavilion Cafe on Wednesday, September 25 at 5.30pm. If you are interested in joining the closed The Man Walk Warrnambool Facebook group for information head to facebook.com/groups/1608149469315073/
- Anyone who needs help can phone Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636
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