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Beyond the Bale : September 2018
ON FARM 63 John made his debut playing for South Melbourne in 1966 and was the club’s leading goalkicker for four consecutive seasons. After making the finals in 1970, John made the decision to return to his family’s farm in Rupanyup, Victoria in 1971. John started to ‘feel the pinch’ in the early 1980s, particularly during the drought of 1982. “I wasn’t sleeping, I felt uptight, I was crabby with my children and my wife. I felt resentful towards the community who were always asking me to do things and I couldn’t say no. I would get all uptight about minor issues, making it feel like they were major issues when they weren’t.” In 1988, John was hospitalised as he felt completely broken down and had no confidence. It was a long journey home after treatment. John’s mental health issues cost him his first marriage. He believes the people closest to someone with a mental health issue get hurt the most. Former VFL footballer John Sudholz is a farmer and an ambassador for beyondblue. John started to be affected by depression during the drought of 1982. Now much improved, John encourages other farmers to get serious about looking after themselves. BEYONDBLUE AMBASSADOR JOHN SUDHOLZ He was nervous about returning to his community. Even a trip to the main street was a big effort because he was worried about what people would think of him. But it wasn't long before one of the locals wandered up to welcome him home. It was a simple gesture which made all the difference. “I'm sitting there in the passenger seat, beside the supermarket actually, and he walked up to me and he just said ‘Good day, jumbo’. He said, ‘It's good to see you back in town’. I've never forgotten that.” John has continued his involvement in sports although has slowed pace a little. As a beyondblue ambassador, John encourages other farmers to get serious about looking after themselves. “Groups like beyondblue and Lifeline have made help far more accessible for rural people. “Everyone in this world has two or three mates who are true mates and will do anything for them. They will sit and talk and listen to your point of view. When you are feeling the pinch, you need to go and talk to these mates. “It’s vital that we all get serious about looking after ourselves both mentally and physically.” beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and suicide in Australia. beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health, regardless of age, background and wherever they live. Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the beyondblue Support Service – 1300224636–orvia beyondblue.org.au for online chat (3pm-12am ADST) or email.
In the Shops - September 2018