Interview: ‘Men Need More Support With Mental Health’
This Woman Created Build A Brotherhood After Losing Her Brother To Suicide.
Build A Brotherhood is a free support group created by Peta Bobbine after she lost her brother to suicide in 2018. The group runs twice monthly support groups in Melbourne to help men who are suffering in silence. The support sessions include a basic life skills course that was created by Peta's mother, Leah, who is a family therapist and drug/alcohol counsellor.
Peta, thanks for talking to us. Tell us why you set up your foundation?
In 2018 my older brother Luke took his own like and we created Build A Brotherhood about six months later.
Can you tell us a little about Luke?
Luke was in the military and served in Afghanistan only to return home never the same. He faced his own demons and we knew he was battling PTSD.
Did you know how hard he was finding it, or did you find out more only after he had passed?
There where times Luke showed his struggles and he had tried to take his life before hand. After he passed, and through connecting with others he had spoken to, we learned more about how he had struggled.
Were you surprised by the lack of support out there for men?
Yes. This is what led us to want to support men. We quickly saw the lack of support men have for their struggles.
Tell us what your actually foundation does?
We run twice a month support groups for men in Melbourne. We also share men’s stories of their lives to encourage other men to open up and know they’re not alone. We make merchandise to create conversation and raise awareness for men’s mental health. We also run workshops for men, for couples and for women who want to learn the best ways to support the men in their lives.
You run a Basic Life Skills Course in the second half of your support group. What kind of topics do you cover?
All sorts, to be honest! We do some self-care techniques, anger management, emotional regulating techniques and also communication skills.
Lots of men struggle with their mental health after relationship breakdowns, do you cover that too?
Yes, we do lots of work around relationship issues, stress management techniques, grief and loss suffered as a result of trauma or abandonment, as well as work on values and core beliefs.
What’s the goal of Build A Brotherhood?
The goal is to provide men a safe place to be support with their struggles. Everything we do is in the loving memory of my brother Luke Bray.
Has it been well received?
Yes, it’s been huge. Our social media pages are now reaching men all over the world. We share men’s stories on our Instagram in the hope we can encourage others to open up and share their own experiences. We also have our men’s group on Facebook.
How have you coped during COVID?
We ran our support groups via Zoom, although we have found that men tell us that they prefer face to face. That said; our zoom support groups have enabled us to reach men in South Africa, America and Russia.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
We hope once we become a not for profit charity and have the funding to train people all over the world to run Build A Brotherhood support groups for men worldwide.
You can check out the ‘Build A Brotherhood’ merchandise or donate online here.
If you or someone you know needs assistance.
Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or at www.beyondblue.org.au
Open Arms Veteran and Families counselling on 1800 011 046 openarms.gov.au
Safe Zone Support – for ADF - 1800 142 072.
Sane Helpline 1800 18SANE (7263) or at www.sane.org
Domestic violence support on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or 1800respect.org.au
Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467
Headspace on 1800 650 890
Reachout at au.reachout.com