Episode #35: Matt Runnalls Speaks On Love, Belonging, & Connection
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We have an incredibly inspiring and uplifting episode today with special guest, Matt Runnalls. Deeply committed to mental health advocacy, Matt works to create awareness, acceptance, and education through his not for profit organisation, Mindfull Aus. Having lived with bipolar disorder, surviving suicide attempts and losing far too many friends to suicide, Matt draws on his lived experience to educate others on how to stay mentally fit and live a happy and fulfilling life.
In this episode, Matt shares his journey as a teenager battling depression and anxiety and how he was eventually diagnosed with bipolar following the loss of his sixth friend to suicide. Losing so many of his friends and not wanting to sit up the back of any more funerals, Matt started reaching out for help and investigating what real mental health should look like. He shares his journey of wellness and how he continues to live well while managing his illness.
Matt’s enthusiasm for life is contagious as he shares about the gift of his bipolar and how we all have the opportunity to learn from each day, letting our experiences shape us into better people. He shares about the essential human needs for love, belonging and connection and how mental illness starts manifested when there is a disconnection from these things.
Matt talks about some of the amazing work he’s doing through Mindfull Aus and how they are teaching children in primary schools to have healthy hearts and lighter minds. He also shares some specific things that he does every day as part of his mental health plan, the importance of self reflection and how he sees every thought as an action signal for change.
Despite growing up in an incredibly supportive family and having everything a kid could want, Matt found himself in a very dark place with daily suicidal ideations. The importance of reaching out for help is reiterated once again as Matt talks about the need for surrounding yourself with supportive people and not being afraid to speak up.
TOPICS WE COVER AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:
[3:00]: Matt shares how he grew up in an incredibly supportive family and the shock of losing a teammate to suicide when he was 12 years old.
[4:20]: How 4 years later Matt also lost his favourite teacher and another friend to suicide. He started educating himself of mental health as he started seeing signs in his own life too.
[5:00]: The pressure Matt felt to keep being a bubbly person while he endured abuse on site as a young apprentice and how that affected his mental state
[6:30]: How core negative beliefs led to suicidal ideation during his late teens and how he suppressed his feelings
[8:20]: When Matt lost his fourth friend to suicide, he probed his mum for what he should do to seek help but felt ashamed of feeling the way he did so tried to keep it a secret
[10:00]: How Matt eventually saw a GP and started medication which he thought would fix everything but that he continued to struggle for a long time after that
[12:00]: How it takes time to find the right help but there is something that will work for you
[13:00]: At the age of 20, Matt was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety and insomnia and how he started advocating for mental health
[14:15]: How some psychiatrists didn’t want to work with Matt because it was too much, but that it helped him realise how powerful he was to create his own healing
[14:30]: How Matt was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after losing his sixth friend to suicide and how it helped him understand himself and how to bring help to other people
[16:00]: How Matt rediscovered hope through the kindness shown toward him and seeing other people living happy lives while dealing with their struggles
[17:20]: Self reflection is a big part of how Matt stays mentally well and how every thought is an action signal for change.
[18:15]: How the first 90 minutes of the day sets him up for success - cold showers, breathwork, positive affirmations, compassion and kindness toward others
[20:00]: When Matt finally climbed out of the dark place, he realised he could get to a place of wellness through doing the hard work but that it’s a lifestyle and not something he can take a break from because it contributes to a better tomorrow.
[21:50]: The amazing work Matt does through Mindful Aus in primary schools
[24:00]: How humans are wired for love, belonging and connection and mental illness starts being expressed when there is a disconnection of these things
[25:30]: How the challenges in life carve and craft you into the person you need to be. Let those things strengthen you and find what makes you feel alive
[27:00]: The discipline of looking after yourself. Take big risks, remain accountable, stay positive
[28:00]: Where to find Matt on social media
LINKS WE MENTIONED:
Matt’s website: https://www.mattarunnalls.com/
Mindful Aus: https://www.mindfullaus.org/
Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb. Please rate the show and leave a review if you enjoyed it.
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If after listening to this episode and you don't quite feel right or you want to reach out to someone to speak to, we have provided some useful resources below.
For immediate support please call one of the following 24/7 hotlines. Someone will be ready to take your call. Remember, ‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’
If you are in Australia:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
+6Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
If you are in the United States:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text LIVIN to 741741 in the United States
If you would prefer to speak with someone face-to-face, we recommend visiting your local GP (doctor) who will be able to have a chat with you about what is going on in your life and refer you to a mental health professional if required.
For some tools to help you with things like stress, low mood, general worries, please check out our LIVIN tips and tricks here.
If you would like to learn more about LIVIN, join the movement, or help spread the word, please visit us at the links below:
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