On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
Welcome to Coach’s Corner, a series featuring mental health and wellbeing professionals in the tethr community where we get to learn a little more about the amazing work they do. If you want to share your work with the community, click here. Today we’re featuring Heston Russell, an Australian Veteran and Mental Health Advocate, founder of Voice of a Veteran.
What led you to a career in mental health and wellbeing?
Supporting Veterans transitioning from the military after failing in my own experiences
For anyone who isn't familiar, can you explain the kind of work that you do with patients/clients? Do you have a specialized area you focus on?
Generating conversations and communities around authentic purpose and accepting vulnerabilities as empowering.
If you could only give one piece of advice to someone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, what would it be?
Take this time to truly understand what makes you feel valued and gives you purpose - this will be the pathway to support and recovery now and the next time.
What's the most important change you'd like to see in men's mental health? Or something you've already seen change?
More frequent casual communication - just like “getting our steps in” daily - mental fitness is doing just this and not saving it up for therapy sessions.
What do you value most about peer support in a person's mental health and wellbeing journey? What does peer support look like to you?
Speaking with those who already have some context / experience with my situation and those that help me better understand what I might not be seeing despite it being in plain sight. Particularly veteran to veteran support is the proven best life supporting treatment I have experienced.
How do you explain the difference between thoughts and feelings and the relationship between the two?
Thoughts - mental. Feelings - emotional. Emotions produce a Visceral biological response. Thoughts and mental state are essentially the filter through which we interpret senses & observations and then act upon through emotional responses.
What is the most inspiring part of your work, the thing that keeps you going? What is one thing you have learned that you want to share with everyone reading?
Hearing from those who have drawn support / relevance / inspiration from simple conversations. We are never going to be perfect - but it’s in embracing our imperfections as vulnerability - not weakness - where we become empowered.