By Beth Newman
You are not alone.
It’s the hash tag for Nicolas Laube and Nick Harris’ short film, ‘A Better Place’, but it’s also the central message the pair want the film to send.
Approached by local filmmaker Andrew Cripps, whose story the film is centred on, the pair decided to embark on a film on depression and anxiety with a point of difference.
“Andrew’s always wanted to tell his story about depression and create a bit of awareness for depression because it’s not really spoken about in the media all that much,” Harris said.
Laube said the film aimed to provide a more uplifting view of the issue, with the view to giving hope to people who are dealing with depression.
“We had the highs and lows, we had the real down spot where it was all dark and gloomy but really showed the positive way to get out of that,”he said.
“That was really everyone showing how they got out of it.”
A Better Place has had more than 12,000 views in the fortnight since its launch and the pair are astounded by the response they have received.
“A friend of mine who I actually didn’t really get along with for a long time, messaged me who had depression and thanked the three of us for doing this project because it helped him feel that he’s not alone,” Harris said.
“That was the message we wanted to get out there with the film.”
Both Laube and Harris have a strong affiliation with AFL, a coaching and playing in Aspley’s Colts team, respectively and emphasised the importance of creating greater dialogue of mental health issues among young males.
“A lot of people, especially adolescent males will turn to Google and YouTube when they’re too embarrassed to talk about these issues,” Harris said.
“We want Joe Blow who’s 15, at home and can’t sleep, to turn to something more positive instead of looking at a video that’s all glum and gloomy.”
Click above for our video chat with Nicolas Laube and Nick Harris.
The pair hope that being able to involve a number of high-profile Australians, including a number of sports people, will help to change the perception of depression in sport.
“There’s a stigma in AFL football and rugby league where you have to be really tough and a part of that stigma is they don’t talk about their feelings,” he said.
“You should be able to feel comfortable and talk to the guy sitting next to you that’s backing you up on the field, can he back you up off the field too.”
2013 Queensland U18 captain and former Aspley player, Isaac Conway, was one of the athletes sending a message of support in the film, and Laube said his involvement shed light on the issues facing sports people at all ages.
“He (Conway) saw a lot of boys drop off with depression and anxiety,” he said.
“Playing footy you do see depression and anxiety come up a lot but we think things like sport and footy can also be a good way to get out of pressure.
Laube hoped the film would educate players like his own group at Aspley.
“It’s one thing that they’re footy players and they’re tough, but at the end of the day, if they don’t’ talk about it, it’s going to eat at you, even if you’re the biggest toughest man ever,” he said.
“We said to the boys, ‘Hopefully, we educate you well now so if you do face it when you get older, (you’re more prepared).’”
Anyone seeking help or support with depression and anxiety, contact BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au