CHICK Olsson may be best known for his tireless work in animal husbandry and agri-politics, but now he has turned his talents to helping address depression among the farming community.
Well known as the owner of the animal nutrition company 4 Season and a co-owner of the pain relief product Tri-Solfen, Mr Olsson said he was inspired to write the ebook following the almost tragic experiences of a close friend.
Titled The Kingdom of Wolves, the picture book is described as an ancient text about finding your golden self again.
“I still can’t believe how close it was,” Mr Olsson said. “It was just so close to ending in an absolute disaster – not just for my mate, but everyone else around him.
“Here he was, out on the farm, ready to end it all because he couldn’t escape the feeling of despair and hopelessness.
“To everyone that met him he appeared to have it all: a great lifestyle, a loving family and a wonderful place to live.
The professional help he was given was nothing short of miraculous.
“Fortunately, he had some people around him who were able to understand something was wrong. And fortunately he was able to seek professional help because he made a choice that would have impacted on other people.”
Mr Olsson said the surprising thing was that within a relatively short period of time his mate was back on track.
“The professional help he was given was nothing short of miraculous,” Mr Olsson said.
“Along with counselling he was prescribed medication.
“The counselling helped him understand what was happening both emotionally and physically.
“The medication helped reconnect the pathways in his brain that were preventing him from having feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
“Within 12 months he was cured, back on track, back living and enjoying life as he had previously done.”
Mr Olsson said anti-depression medication was poorly named, adding to the stigma associated with mental health.
“It really should be called re-connection therapy or something very positive because it can absolutely help people get other the terrible condition that is depression.”
To share what he has learnt about mental health Mr Olsson’s has created a ebook drawing on his fascination with ancient history utilising on the skills of Brisbane artist Ryan Jones.
The story features an ancient King who, suffering depression, embarks on a journey of self discovery. Through a series of event he comes to understand he needs assistance with his mental health.
The book is also supported by where people can seek help.
“There is still a great reluctance, particularly from blokes in the bush, to seek help,” Mr Olsson said.
“Asking for help, especially about mental health, seems to be regarded as a sign of weakness.
“What everyone needs to realise is that anyone can make a confidential phone call or simply mention to their GP that they are not feeling how they should be feeling.
“There is so much help at hand, and so much that can be done to help people. It really comes down to everyone recognising their mental health is every bit as important as their physical health.”