BREAKING THE STIGMA: Pat Tripodi loves to ride, but is quite driven to push mental health awareness into the conversation and spotlight. Photo: Ron ArelPASSIONS are a driving force in communities and the ones that enact change are the ones focused on the betterment of others.
Pat Tripodi is passionate about many things in life.
He loves his bikes and lives to ride, but what lies under the surface is a strong drive to help raise awareness of the damage unchecked mental health problems can cause.
Not one to see a problem and turn a blind eye,he has worked to launch a program that can help pair peoplein need with those who are capable of helping.
In the process, he hopes to raise awareness of mental health problems and the impact not just on those suffering, but on those around them.
Mr Tripodi hopes through the efforts of his program he has been able to reach at least one person along the way and helpthem to find the help they need.
Where were you born?
“Condobolin, my parents come from there.
“My parents kept me there for about 18 months and then we came back here.”
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
“Building go karts, swimming in the canals and racing motorbikes.”
How old were you when you first got on a bike?
“Eight or nine, it was a Honda 50 I think.
“I think I killed it within a month.
“I’ve been riding all my life.”
How do you feel childhood is different for kids today?
“We made our own entertainment.
“Build a billy cart, go down to the river with my mates, it was fun.”
What do you like about living in Leeton?
“Everything, what is there not to like?
“We’ve got water, we grow nearly everything, its safe for your kids.”
What do you think makes Leeton unique?
“The people, close knit community. When you need help, someone will help you.”
What started your drive to promote mental health awareness?
“About 10 years ago I met John Harper.
“Mental illness is all around us and someone always knows someone (who struggles with mental illness).”
“Afamily member, a friend, a friend of a friend.
“What people don’t realize is that the person who cares for that person suffer just as much as the one with the mental illness.
“John Harper is the founder of Mate Helping Mate, and I listened to John and took all of it down.
“Thinking about people I know who suffer, it takes a good mate to hang around, a true mate will try to help them get some help.
“The problem is that we don’t get together anymore.
“Farmers, if they want something, they get it through the internet.
“Once upon a time, the oldies, like my old man would go to the pub and a lot of problems were solved then.
“One bloke would tell the other bloke and the load would be shared.
“He’d go home and he’d say ‘well I’m not the only person’.
“Now it’s like people are too proud to tell another person their troubles.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.