21 October 2014

Rob Merrett is a NewAccess coach helping men take action when experiencing stress. 

Meet the Coach
Rob Merrett is a NewAccess coach helping men take action when experiencing stress. We took some time out with Rob at the MoHQ Barber Shop to ask him about his job and his Mo.

Movember: Hey Rob, tell us a little about yourself. 
Rob: I moved to Australia from Yorkshire in 2007 after holidaying here – I loved it so much I decided to come back and live permanently with my extended family in Adelaide. 
Movember: What made you interested in applying to be a NewAccess coach?
Rob: When I left school I wanted to do something to help people - my girlfriend at the time even convinced me to be an Agony Uncle. I ended up working in cinemas for many years after school but I felt like I needed a change of direction and wanted to go back to my roots, so I studied a diploma of counselling. I then volunteered for Lifeline and that gave me a great breadth of experience dealing with a vast range of people.
Movember: What is it about the NewAccess program that makes it suited to men?
Rob: Primarily, NewAccess is de-stigmatising and the guys that I talk to are really comfortable engaging with the program. The first step they need to take is picking up the phone. The coaches use the same language men use so there’s no confusion or barriers to communication. You don’t have to class yourself as anything and you don’t have to go to a GP. We help men with what’s happening in their lives right now by giving them practical strategies and tools to solve their problems. 
A man may be going through depression or anxiety without knowing it and we can help find out the cause behind it and tailor the program to suit their needs. As coaches we can also signpost where men need to go for housing, financial and employment advice due to our connections in the community.
Movember: How can men access the program?
Rob: Men can access the program either over the phone or face to face. After the initial phone call we normally have a face to face meeting before conducting five further sessions over the phone. Some guys prefer to meet face to face but it’s amazing what you can convey in a phone call. If people are based out of town we can deliver the program this way, so it’s available to everyone regardless of geography.
Movember: What advice would you give to blokes who might be feeling out of sorts?
Rob: Talk. Just talk to somebody. It’s normal stuff and everybody goes through it at some stage of their lives. It takes courage but just give us a call. It’s not counselling, we’re working in the present moment. There’s no judgment, we’re here to help. It’s just talking, no bias.
Check out more info on NewAccess. A $13.5 million program jointly funded by the Movember Foundation and beyondblue with an investment of $8.14 million thanks to the funds raised by your Mo growing and support.