Sports Doyen Back On Track

Date: March 7, 2012 / Posted by control

By Kate Bastians, The West Australian, 7 March 2012 –

Former sports broadcaster Glenn Mitchell is determined to use his near-death experience with bipolar disorder to help remove the stigma of mental illness and encourage other victims to seek medical help.

Mitchell is enthusiastic about running the 4km course in this year’s HBF Run for a Reason on May 27, presented by The West Australian, as the ambassador for Lifeline WA.

“Physical health can have a substantial bearing on mental health and a sedentary life is often a by-product of depression, so it’s important to keep fit and mentally fresh,” he said.

While he now describes his life as ‘terrific’, Mitchell came close to taking his own life last year, having quit his dream job at the ABC in May after 21 years behind the microphone.

Reflecting on the darkest time in his life, he said his decision to ignore his mental illness and not confide in people who could have helped him led to him hitting rock bottom and almost taking his own life in the Perth Hills.

He said the key to reducing suicide in the community was by “destigmatising” mental illness.

“I want people to see there is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about it,” he said. “It should be seen in the same way as any other illness like asthma, diabetes or multiple sclerosis.”