He’s best known as the radio funnyman on Triple M Sydney’s Moonman in the Morning. But there’s also a serious side to Gus Worland, especially when it comes to mental health.
While plenty in the public eye try their hardest to portray a perfect life, Worland sees things a little differently. In fact, he considers it his responsibility to shine a light on the issues so many other celebrities shy away from.
Whether it’s his battle with his waistline or his inability to stay committed to his fitness routine, Worland is unfailingly, searingly honest. But no issue is he quite so open about as he his on mental health. So much so, that he’s just launched his own foundation that focuses on that very topic: Gotcha4Life.
“Gotcha4Life came off the back of a program I did, Man Up, for the ABC. It’s had more than 78 million views now. I’m so proud of it. It’s by far the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he says.
“I went on a journey to figure our why a friend of mine took his own life. Here was a guy that I thought had everything covered. He had a beautiful wife, family, job; he seemed to have it all. And I loved him like a brother.
“Then I started investigating mental health in Australia, and I realised that the number one way to lose your life as an Aussie male between 15 and 44 is to take your own life. We lose six blokes every single day.
“And I realised I had this wonderful opportunity to set up a foundation around men’s mental health. I’m talking about getting mentally fit, realising it’s OK to not have everything covered. That it’s OK to not to be OK.”
The Gotcha4Life team visits schools and sporting clubs across the country, teaching boys and young men the skills they need to navigate modern life — and giving them the strength to reach out to someone if it all begins to feel like too much.
The idea, says Worland, is to learn to separate mates from true friends, with the radio star saying that, no matter how many of the former you’ve got, we all need at least one of the latter.
“Everyone talks about Aussies having mates, but you need to turn one of those mates into a proper friend,” he says. “Someone that, if you get into trouble, you can really talk to in an open, honest and vulnerable way.”
HACKING RESILIENCE ON YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS JOURNEY
• Don’t blow the budget:“My personal trainer talks about having a food budget, in the same way you might have had a money budget when you were younger. So if you go to McDonald’s, then it’s like you’re spending half your rent money, so then you need to have a couple of days when you’re spending nothing at all. So isn’t it better to avoid those big days, those big feeds or those 10 beers watching Origin, and making your budget last?”
• Find your why: “I need to write stuff down, like ‘two daughters, walk down the aisle’. It makes me ask myself what sort of bloke I want to be when I’m 65. Are they going to be proud of me on their wedding day? Did I look after myself? Did I love them enough to get off my arse and do something? That’s motivation to me.”
• Embrace failure: “I have failed more times than I can count, but I’ve got a personal trainer and I’m trying again. Never, ever give up. Have the shake rather than Macca’s. Get on a program with a trainer and try and stick to it. But if you fail, get right back on the horse.”
I’m hearing more and more about meditation. Is it something you believe in? Or is it just hocus-pocus?
I’m lucky enough to speak to all sorts of incredibly successful people, and without doubt, they all have one thing in common: meditation. Now, that word can mean different things to different people, but at its core, it’s an opportunity for you take a moment that’s just yours, and to calm your mind. The science is in on meditation, and the benefits include stress release, lower anxiety levels and a happier, more positive outlook on life.
Adam MacDougall is a former NRL player and the creator of The Man Shake. Continue the conversation @adammacdougall5