Australian television personality Cameron Daddo has launched a new website encouraging men to form teams in their local community where can talk openly and be accountable to each other.
My MensTeam contains a free blueprint for blokes who create a team and connect with Daddo’s initiative.
“My dream is to create the MMT league,” he says.
Daddo, a father of three, and working in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, confides that life hasn’t always been rosy, and without the help of others he may have lost his marriage, his career and his children.
“It’s an interesting job to do, to be in front of a camera, it’s quite a childish job. We’re told what to say, we’re told what to wear, we’re told where to stand and at the end of it we’re told to go home,” he tells clinical psychologist and Movember’s director of Mental Health, Dr Zac Seidler.
“Sometimes in my career I’ve felt like I’m waiting for people to hire me and that’s never sat well with me.
“In terms of mental health, there has been some trying moments when I have been out of control. I can busk on the street but that doesn’t pay the bills for three children and a wife and a house and a mortgage,” he says.
“A decade ago, I was going through a very challenging time,” he shares on the My MensTable website. “My work was not providing the money needed to support my family. The incessant chatter in my brain woke me at 3am, I had lost faith in my usual support channels and I felt I had nowhere to turn. My wife and kids were copping outbursts that I couldn’t contain.
“Out of desperation, I group-emailed the fathers at our kids’ school and briefly shared my situation, with an invitation- 'if you feel the same way, please let me know'. A surprising response of positivity followed along with brave acknowledgments of being in similar situations and feeling similar things.”
He hosted a meeting in his garage and 23 men gathered to listen and share their experiences. They had several more sessions but lacked the resources to formalise the meetings.
Five years later he joined another men’s group, who referred to themselves as a “team”. The experience had a huge impact on Daddo, who says the eight-man TEAM had a blueprint and a code that was powerful and continues to provide each member with support.
“A better more rounded, reliable and socially aware group of blokes would be hard to find,” says Daddo.
He became inspired to broaden the concept of the MensTeam and is now encouraging others to form teams.
TAKE ACTION FOR MEN’S HEALTH
Listen to a Movember interview with Cameron Daddo, Dr Zac Zeidler and mental health nurse Maura Harvey, “Putting conversation into practice”.