Warwick men catch up over coffee at Belle Vue Cafe in Warwick to discuss the importance of positive male role models and the value of social interaction between men.
Warwick men catch up over coffee at Belle Vue Cafe in Warwick to discuss the importance of positive male role models and the value of social interaction between men. Marian Faa

Warwick dad's 'nervous breakdown' led to better parenting

MAKING friends with his amygdala has been one step in the journey to understanding the mental health concerns that still cause Simon Goddard's hands to tremor when he stands in front of a crowd to share his story.

Speaking to a group of men at the International Men's Day breakfast yesterday, Mr Goddard explained how his amygdala - a part of the brain - was responsible for the fight or flight response that caused him anxiety so severe it eventually led to a breakdown.

"I took on this desire to please everyone and I developed an internal conflict as I started to work harder,” he said.

Mr Goddard was a prominent horseman and also worked as a senior nurse at Warwick Hospital at the time.

"As it went on I got a lot of awards and achievements but I say honestly it absolutely meant nothing, I don't even know where those awards are.”

Mr Goddard described how finally having a "nervous breakdown” led him to slow down and reflect on his life.

Simon Goddard and Wally McIntosh are mates who share a passion for leading younger men to positive futures. They caught up in Warwick for International Men's Day 2019.
Simon Goddard and Wally McIntosh are mates who share a passion for leading younger men to positive futures. They caught up in Warwick for International Men's Day 2019. Marian Faa

"The whole crash thing was not pleasant, with suicidal ideation thrown in. However, maybe it was the best thing that happened to me,” he said.

"Perhaps facing it and dealing with it was the best role modelling I could do (for my daughters and family).

"I faced my depression, anxiety and anger and did the hard yards. I showed the suffering of non-treatment was far worse than 'manning up', and tackling it took a while but I showed I can do it.”

Mr Goddard reflected on lessons he gained from his own father, like resilience, hard work, learning, determination and having a go. "He gave me capacity,” Mr Goddard said.

School of Total Education principal Shane Power said he greatly appreciated hearing the men speak at the breakfast.

"That sort of honesty among men is so helpful,” he said.

If you need help, phone Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyondblue 1300 22 4636.



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