Mark Cottle is an Australian Accountant who is an expert on using offshore accounting teams. He founded Frontline Accounting in Manila using an offshore model. He and his team have helped so many people in times of trouble throughout the Philippines with their outreach programme. After reading his book, Offshore or Die!, I had the pleasure of speaking to him via Skype. Mark is one of the good guys.
In order to help raise awareness of mental health issues, particularly for young men, I am sharing below the email that Mark sent today (1st September 2017).
Normally I send these emails on a Sunday, but figured I'd shake up the schedule this week and send it today (Friday).
I haven't written in the last couple of weeks because of public holidays in Manila. If I send an article when it's a public holiday on the Monday, I get flooded with out of office replies. So I use that as an excuse to take a break.
This week I was going to write about the amazing success of our health program over the last three months. The staff involved lost a combined 99lbs and went a long way to regaining their health.
But I'll defer that article to another week.
I want to point you to an article I wrote about three months ago, 'Mental Health - Time To Level Up'.
And in particular, the final section:
If you are wondering why I'm writing about this now – in the last month I've had three different people mention suicidal thoughts to me (not just staff either by the way), in addition to other people who privately wrestle with depression and other anxiety related disorders.
And that's just the people who spoke to me.
Imagine how many other people are suffering silently.
Mental health – it's time to level up gang.
The good news is, the various staff I've spent time talking to have been getting the help they needed.
The bad news...
I just lost my younger brother a couple of days ago :(
He had been suffering depression and was reluctant to get the help he needed.
So the other night he drove up to a mountain near our place in Melbourne.
A place where I used to go regularly for solitude and quiet.
And he took his own life, leaving behind a wife and daughter.
I still feel numb.
I know when I land on Sunday morning in Melbourne, it's going to hit real hard.
The last time I saw my brother was when we stood together and spoke at my grandma's funeral.
And here we are, now I have to bury him too.
He didn't level up and get it sorted.
I can understand.
He was in such a deep hole he saw no way out.
Which is why I shout this message frequently - don't let yourself slip so far you end up not seeing a way out.
Most of us know when we are having a hard time.
Often that's temporary and you just have to ride it out.
But sometimes, that 'hard time' goes far deeper.
And it becomes prolonged, rather than temporary.
I can only repeat the same message again...
Tell someone you trust.
And get yourself the help, whatever that is, so you don't end up unwell...
I could write a book about this topic.
But I hope you get the point.
This is a critical part of life.
If you've never struggled with mental illness, then you might not relate to anything I'm saying.
But if you have - then you know I speak the truth.