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BLACK DOG!

BEACONSFIELD MINE DISASTER SURVIVOR BRANT WEBB BRINGS A MENTAL HEALTH MESSAGE OF SURVIVAL TO OUR ISLANDS Those with a long memory will never forget the disasters that happened in the small Tasmanian mining town of Beaconsfield in 2006. The whole of the country and the world watched and waited for two weeks as rescuers tried to save two trapped miners, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, who were entombed as a result of an earthquake 925 metres underground. The pair had been working in a tiny work basket attached to a telehandler being operated by Larry Knight, then 44, who was killed when the earthquake caused the mine to collapse just before 9.30pm on ANZAC Day, 2006. Webb and Russell spent the next two weeks trapped in a confined space underground as Australia and the world watched with bated breath until they were finally rescued and hailed ‘miracle survivors’. The impact from the episode was enormous on the survivors, particularly Brant Webb. He was eventually helped thanks to a men’s group called australian-speakers.com that is all about helping men with mental health issues. And Brant Webb was at Club Macleay on our islands a week or so ago as part of a Las Vegas Elvis Presley night that doubled as an ‘interview night’ talking about mental health and surviving anxiety and PTSD issues. Following his underground survival, Webb suffered flashbacks and anxiety, as well as unresolved grief over the loss of his good mate, Larry Knight. Fortunately support from ‘mates’ helped Brant with his post traumatic stress and he got to tell his story before a packed audience at a special night held at Club Macleay. Brant revealed that today Australian Speakers and the Great Mates podcast plays a huge role in his life. He also works with another ‘survivor’ of PTSD and now Macleay Island resident, Kevin Hughes. Both are part of australian-speakers.com “Had I not been able to speak about my issues with some mates via Australian Speakers and the Black Dog Institute, I would not be in the pretty reasonable state I am today,” Brant Webb told The Friendly Bay Islander. “It is all about motivation, mental health and mateship,” Brant added. He pleaded: “If you are man who has mental health issues, please seek help via organisations such as Black Dog, and tune into the Great Mates podcast”.

• Brant Webb (right) with Club Macleay manager Luke Jobson.

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