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05 May 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Wimmera yoga and meditation teacher and mental-health advocate Aaron Schultz hopes his latest project will help save lives.
Mr Schultz, who hails from Horsham and now lives on the Gold Coast, started The Outback Mind Podcast in January this year.
The podcast involves people throughout regional Australia sharing their experiences with mental-health challenges and addictions.
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The interviewees tell of their experiences in their own words, explaining how through intervention they were able to ‘get help and get better’.
Throughout the past three months, The Outback Mind Podcast has garnered more than 10,000 followers.
“It’s going really well,” Mr Schultz said.
“I want people to understand it’s okay to talk about what’s going on and to be able to learn from others’ experiences.
“Growing up, I was trapped in a cycle of self-doubt. What I was experiencing was quite normal and I want to bring this stuff to the floor and help show people how to make changes in their lives.
“That’s what the podcast is all about – it’s about giving men, particularly regional men, some tips and tricks to help empower their wellbeing.
“I’ve had some great feedback about it already, along with a lot of phone calls – one person said listening to the podcast helped save his life.”
Mr Schultz was born and bred in Horsham and moved back to the Wimmera a few years ago to teach yoga and meditation.
He moved to the Gold Coast in February, where he also helps people with mental-health issues including anxiety and depression.
Mr Schultz, who has experienced his own mental struggles, published a book about his experiences called ‘A wink from a Guru: How I reclaimed my life’ in 2019.
The book features a forward from former AFL footballer, coach and mental-health advocate Paul Roos.
“It was Paul who actually suggested I give a podcast a go, and he said he’d come on it if I did it,” Mr Schultz said.
“It all happened pretty quickly and has flowed on from there.
“The idea is to share stories to empower men’s wellbeing throughout regional Australia.
“It’s a great thing for guys on the tractor to listen to.
“A lot of men find it hard to talk about their feelings and emotions, but they can listen.
“I hope they learn it’s okay to talk about what’s going on in your life and be vulnerable.”
Along with Roos, the podcast features episodes with celebrities including musicians Pete Murray and Bob Evans, and former AFL footballers, including Rupanyup farmer John Sudholz.
Mr Sudholz is among several Wimmera-Mallee identities to feature.
“John shares his heartfelt story of survival from severe mental-health challenges and the trials and tribulations of living in a rural community,” Mr Schultz said.
Gavin Morrow, who started advocacy group Healthy Minds Horsham more than a decade ago after becoming alarmed by the suicide rate in his home town of Warracknabeal, also features in an episode, as does Matt De Gruchy, who discovered he was going to lose his vision and become blind at just nine years of age.
Horsham’s Peter Both is the most recent Wimmera guest to feature.
‘Bikes before booze – the inspiring story of Peter Both’ describes Mr Both’s rough upbringing and emotional trauma, which for many years was masked by chronic alcohol and drug use.
“After becoming a drug and alcohol practitioner in his 40s and still continuing to drink heavily on weekends, it took some courageous days of life-changing decisions that saw Peter quit the booze and turn to cycling, which has completely transformed his life,” Mr Schultz said.
“It’s a really raw story. I’ve had a lot of feedback about it already.”
The podcast features people from all walks of life and deals with a plethora of issues, from drug addiction and recovery to bipolar disorder.
“The episodes contain real-life stories of recovery,” Mr Schultz said.
“They enable people to learn from others who might have walked the same path – being open to learning about others can change your life.”
Mr Schultz has several other episodes in the pipeline, including Wimmera-Mallee guests.
The Outback Mind Podcast is available on Spotify, iTunes and Podbean.
People can visit website outbackmind.com.au or follow ‘Aaron Schultz Yoga’ on Facebook or Instagram for more information.
The entire May 5, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!