Jenny…thanks for sharing this article.
Brendan Maher

Hi Brendan. Thanks for your considered response. I do appreciate it.

In some ways I have been unfair to RUOK in this piece. It was not my intention to harm your organisation. My major beef is with the much bigger players like Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute, who DO have multi-million dollar budgets and who haven’t provided myself, my son or many others with any help or support whatsoever. They SAY they provide help, but when you actually try to access it, there is really nothing of substance there.

I guess I just saw the RUOK posts popping up on Facebook last week and with my son so desperately ill, they seemed pointless. I did know the history of RUOK and I have a brother who committed suicide 7 years ago, so I also understand the issues better than many do.

I did not write the piece from a single explosion of anger. It came from many months of frustration and includes insights I’ve received from psychiatric nurses, from listening to Patrick McGorry speak, from speaking at a safety conference myself and having to listen to the CEO of Beyond Blue talk for 40 minutes about the success of their latest ad campaign, without her making a single mention of how mental illness is treated or how people suffering are helped, and from my son’s own psychiatrists and other specialists. All of them agree the system is broken and overloaded and all are equally frustrated with the terrible hardships endured.

If you have any interest in talking further with me about these issues, I’d be happy to do so. You could email me on

Thanks again.


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