We have a long way to go before the stigma of talking about mental health is completely gone, especially for men.
But for the three hosts of “The Sex And Suicide Podcast,” nothing is off limits. This includes talking about their depression, anxiety and even being sexually abused.
The men, based in London, Ont., have created a raw and profanity-laced podcast to encourage others to be just as brutally blunt and honest about their own mental health struggles.
Their flagship series, Soulfire Sundays, features hosts Shawn Evans, Scott Milne, and Paulie O’Byrne sitting on a couch cracking jokes while opening up about their personal experiences. One episode centred on Evans’ anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, while another was about O’Byrne’s cognitive behavioural therapy treatment.
Evans, who created the podcast, said their unorthodox style resonates with their growing base of 20,000 fans on Facebook and YouTube.
Milne, who is a professional bodybuilder, pointed out that mental illness doesn’t care about how much someone can bench press. The hosts’ mantra is: if it’s OK for them to talk about it, anyone can.
O’Byrne is extremely candid about being sexually abused by his hockey coach over 11 years ago. His abuser was convicted of sexual assault and served three months house arrest and 18 months probation.
Evans was a contestant on the 11th season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.” On the show, he was a partier, who indulged in drinking.
Off-camera he said he was prone to self-medicating and drinking even more when he felt tense.
Now approaching two years sobriety, Evans says the experience altered his life because “it made me look at how people saw me and change my ways, and for that I’m appreciative.”