“Former ABC sports broadcaster Glenn Mitchell received a standing ovation at the Men in Black Ball for his moving story about his struggle with mental illness. He revealed he was so close to taking his own life that he’d said a final farewell to his five-year-old as he dropped him at pre-school.”
‘The Sunday Times’, June 10 2012
“I wanted to thank you for telling your story as I truly believe it saved my brother-in-law. He was able to tell us that he felt ‘just like Glenn Mitchell did’ and they were words that let us know how low he was feeling and we were able to spring into action and support him. Without your story I’m not sure he would have known how to tell us. He is now well so a huge thank you from all the family.” Name withheld
Having been at the top of his profession as a sports broadcaster and with a life many would envy, Glenn’s life was turned upside down when he succumbed to mental illness. His story is a truly inspiring one.
Like so many people, especially Australian males, it took a lot of convincing for him to initially seek help. When he did, it started a journey that was far from smooth with nearly five years passing before he was finally accurately diagnosed and suitably treated.
Through the support of family, friends and some committed and caring clinicians, Glenn managed to emerge from his own private hell to become a far happier, balanced and caring individual.
His experiences have had a profound affect on him and he is committed to doing whatever he can to help others as a mental health advocate.
One thing that is guaranteed about mental illness is the fact that it doesn’t discriminate. From political leaders and high profile public personalities to average working class people and housewives, mental illness runs the full gamut of society.
It has no respect for race, creed or education levels. At anytime, often without one feeling its approach, mental illness can strike anyone and its effect can be devastating.
The fact that it is the major cause of death in Australian males aged 15 to 44 is but one example of its insidious power.
But with early intervention, honesty and the right support and guidance, it is far from an insurmountable hurdle. While the topic of mental illness is spoken of more openly nowadays, there is still a long way to go.
Glenn, and many others involved in the area of mental health advocacy, hope that one day mental illness will be spoken about openly and honestly like any other illness.
For his part, Glenn is happy to share his personal experiences in the hope that it will aid others to either take that first step to seek help or teach others the signs to look for in an endeavour to help loved ones, friends and colleagues who they feel may be afflicted by mental illness.
As well as presenting numerous suicide prevention talks in the Perth metropolitan area he has also traveled Western Australia extensively, presenting his story in over 60 regional centres, from rural areas to mining towns.
Some of Glenn’s clients have included Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Chevron, INPEX, Landmark, Melbourne Grammar School, Catholic Care (NT), Western Australian Football Commission, WA Department of Fisheries, WA Department of Mines and Petroleum and Notre Dame University.
“It is an honour and privilege to work with Glenn Mitchell as an Ambassador for the One Life Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Glenn’s voice is familiar to hundreds of thousands of Australians and most particularly his voice and face is recognised across all of regional Western Australia. Glenn’s profile and public disclosure of his personal experience of mental health and suicide has touched the lives of many Western Australians.
His messages de- stigmatise conditions that contribute to suicide risk with a view to encouraging help seeking behaviour and promotes mental health and wellbeing for the whole community.
As an Ambassador for One Life Glenn shares his story at various functions, events, workshops and conferences and contributes to building resilience in individuals, communities and across the State.”
Louise Perry, Executive Manager, One Life WA Suicide Prevention Strategy
“Glenn Mitchell is a man with many professional skills; he is also a man with a powerful personal story to tell. He is an accomplished sports broadcaster who has walked the path from despair and illness to hopefulness and well-being.
As a story teller, Glenn’s ability to openly ‘speak the truth’ is inspiring many people who are in a dark place to reach out to find and accept the support they need and deserve. As a presenter, Glenn’s professional approach and capacity to engage the audience with his unique blend of humour and wit, are exceptional.”
Amanda Wheeler, CEO Lifeline WA
“Our staff are still talking about Glenn’s presentation on mental health. His messages hit the mark for our organization and we have had nothing but positive feedback about his talk.”
Stuart Smith, Director General, Department of Fisheries WA
“Glenn talked with great passion and authority about a subject that is seldom spoken about. He brought the topic out of the shadows and many people commented to me afterwards how valuable it was to hear him to do this. We are inviting Glenn back for more of these conversations.”
Michael Bailey, General Manager – Port Operations, BHP Billiton Iron Ore
“Glenn was engaging and brought such an inspirational story to our team of people. I think it touched all 300 people in the room.”
Caris House, Superintendent of Health, Rio Tinto
“The feedback received was astounding. You certainly affected a lot of people in a very positive way and our journey on mental health promotion has now begun.”
Lisa Simmonds, Health and Safety Manager WA, Aurecon
“Glenn had a good balance between facts, stats, his own story and some light hearted comments that helped balance up the presentation and keep people’s attention throughout. It is a tough topic for discussion and he delivered it very well.”
Tom Busher, Manager Community Relations, Alcoa