CELEBRATING MATESHIPS: Theresa and Anthony 'Kel' Kelly  are trying to raise awareness of men's mental health issues in the Clarence Valley.
CELEBRATING MATESHIPS: Theresa and Anthony 'Kel' Kelly are trying to raise awareness of men's mental health issues in the Clarence Valley.

Couple reveals their personal story behind Yeah the Boys

PERSONAL experience has inspired new Grafton couple Theresa and Anthony 'Kel' Kelly to kick off tonight's program designed to raise awareness of men's mental health. They call the program Yeah the Boys. This is their story.

KEL and I moved to Grafton in December 2017. Kel had secured full-time, permanent employment and I had won a promotion at work. We purchased a beautiful home and we were "kicking goals".

So I could not understand why Kel was so cranky all the time. By April, he was nearly unbearable to live with and I just could not see us making it to our June wedding.

At Easter I was visiting our old hometown and I saw his mates all having a beer at the local, where Kel would have been on a Friday afternoon ... and I had a lightbulb moment. I asked them all to come up and have their next Friday beers here in Grafton, with Kel.

You know, I could stick a pin into the calendar. That was the day our lives turned around because he became the man I loved again. He was laughing again. I realised that he had missed his mates. I thought that blokes when they got together just talked smack and sunk beers ... and maybe they do ... but I don't devalue that relationship anymore.

I know that the statistics for male suicide and depression are devastating and I know that these statistics double in some industries and age groups. So when Kel came home from work one day and said "we have to do something" I knew that this was something important to him that I could help him with. And it has been a privilege. Every person that we have spoken to in the community, sponsors and employers, have a story to tell of how they have been touched by depression and suicide.

I got in touch with Grafton speedway to see if we could hold an event at their opening night ... and I did not even finish my sentence before they had committed wholeheartedly. The support for this event has been overwhelming.

So here it is. Yeah the Boys!

It is an event to celebrate the mateships that blokes share and to show our blokes that people care. This will also give our blokes the opportunity to connect with the friendly faces that belong to the services that they may need one day. If not for themselves, then for their mates, brothers, fathers or sons.

So bring your mates, your kids, your dads, your families. Enjoy the band, get a photo with the guys from Blokes Advice and say 'Hi' to Sam from Save a Mate. The Speedway have rides and a jumping castle and check out the race cars and motorbikes and give the kids a close look at a prize-winning Franna. Buy a ticket to win customised hard helmets, four-wheel-drive packs, camping gear and coolers. Grab a sausage sanga and cheer on the Blokes Advice Team in the NSW Demolition Derby Titles.

We will see you there!



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