ReachOut today urged caution in judgement of Bernard Tomic, particularly criticism for him being weak, with his public admission of depression a good opportunity for parents and young people to get to know how to better help someone.
ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas said Tomic’s exit from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here last night citing depression was no surprise, particularly as 75 per cent of mental health problems appear before the age of 25, yet most young women and men do not seek help.
“Young people often show their distress through behaviour, not words, and this appears to be the case for Tomic as well,” said Mr Nicholas.
“You don’t have to approve of Bernard Tomic’s actions as a player or on or off the court, but rather than criticise and ridicule him, what is required at this time is compassion, understanding and the benefit of the doubt.”
Mr Nicholas also said there are lessons for parents from the Tomic situation.
“Be on the lookout for changes in your teenager’s behaviour, particularly if they are acting out and not enjoying the things they usually enjoy,” Mr Nicholas said.
“If this happens avoid labels and judgement, and start a conversation to try to get to the cause of the problem.”
The signs of depression are more than just feeling sad, but when this sadness stops someone from doing what they normally do and affects appetite and sleep, and causes low concentration and energy levels.
“Many parents don’t know what do in situations like this,” said Mr Nicholas.
“One thing everybody can do right now is access frontline services like ReachOut and ReachOut Parents, available for free 24/7, for support and information.”
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