Worland, who in his documentary spent a night at a Lifeline call centre, visited a ranch in Western Australia, attended a nude men's yoga night and sailed with returning soldiers, learned that pressure for guys to conform to the 'He'll be all right' brand of masculinity had forced many to bottle their negative thoughts and emotions inside without seeking help.
"The pioneer type of Australian whom we all love so much, the Anzacs and that type, those people really did have very, very hard times," Worland says. "They did what they had to do to make the nation we have now. But in the world that is out there now, we don't have to be that old-fashioned stoic Australian anymore."
Says Harkin, "Gus is on this blokey-bloke show with two rugby players and beefed up gents and he's more than comfortable shedding a tear, hugging his son and telling him how much he loves him and the family. He's a great conduit for a message like this because then this isn't some New Age-y thing. This is just an everyday Aussie bloke saying, 'Guys, we need to get real and have real converations so it doesn't end in tears, pain and hurt."
Honouring the legacy of his mate Angus Roberts, who killed himself in 2006 at the age of 53, was the motivation Worland needed to make the series.
"His other TV shows have been more comedic and have made people laugh," says Worland's son Jack, 16, of series such as An Aussie Goes Barmy. "This one is a little more serious and out of his comfort zone. The issues he's addressing are pretty confronting and no one else has tried to do it before. I think it's been a good experience for him."
To read more about Gus Worland and Man Up, pick up this week's issue of WHO, currently on newsstands.
For help with depression, contact Lifeline: 131 114; lifeline.org.au.
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