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Bogged Brakes helps rural blokes get away to get unstuck

Are You Bogged Mate? is giving rural blokes an opportunity to take an extended break and get unstuck.

Bogged Brakes is a no-cost short getaway for rural blokes to take a load off and unwind.

It is run by Are You Bogged Mate? founder Mary O’Brien, who travels around Australia, talks to farmers, truckies, fly-in-fly-out, and drive-in-drive-out workers about mental health and helps them understand the triggers and pressures that send many over the edge. 

To qualify for a Bogged Brakes getaway, blokes must be 18 or over, live and work in a rural area (including FIFO and DIDO workers), and “be fit enough to walk a couple of kilometres and climb a couple of stairs.”

Two Bogged Brakes events are planned for:

  • 22-26 August 2024 and,
  • 3-7 October

Both will occur on the Fraser Coast in Queensland, and applications close on 1 July 2024.

Those wanting to apply are asked to fill in a form saying why they need a blokes-only break in 25 words or less. View form.

Are You Bogged Mate? has partnered with Farm Sitters, so that those who can get away may have access to reliable carers for their rural properties.  


Photo credit: Are You Bogged Mate?

Mary O’Brien comes from a town called Dalby, three hours West of Brisbane, which was devastated when two local men died by suicide in 2018. Mary O’Brien was rocked by their deaths and the effect they had on many in her community.

“They didn’t understand,” she told ABC’s Landline in 2020. “Their whole body language was a rude shock, and awakening.”

As Mary discovered, rural men are twice as likely to die by suicide than metropolitan men (Currently, nine people each day die by suicide ,and seven are male). She likened the crisis for men to being bogged, like a tractor deep in wet mud. Since then, she has reached many men and saved countless lives, using down-to-earth, no-frills language to get her message across and stop rural blokes from bottling up their anguish.

Mates are encouraged to sign up together for Bogged Brakes.

“I spoke to a mate, he rang me up, and he said, ‘You’re just not the fun bloke that you used to be, you’re very serious, and to me, you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders,” says one past Bogged Brakes participants.

“Will I benefit from this? Yes, I will. And will the people around me from it? I believe so. Bogged Brakes has changed my life.”

“I’ve had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a bloody long time,” says another.

“16 random people getting invited and going away best mates.”

“If it saves another couple of guys from their thoughts of an exit, we’ve done our job.” The Bogged Brakes initiative is sponsored by Are You Bogged Mate? partners.

FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY

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