Mary O'Brien

Mental health advocate

QLDNomineeLocal Hero2021

Mary O’Brien works to highlight mental health issues in men living in rural and remote areas of Australia. She has developed the ‘Are you bogged, mate?’ initiative specifically for men who work in the rural sector – with the aim of reducing suicide rates among this group.

Mary has tailored her approach specifically to the mental health needs of men who grapple with isolation, the stress of running a farm and the emotional toll of dealing with drought, bushfires, failed crops and lack of water. 

Mary’s initiative helps men to recognise that support is available, encourages them to reach out, and promotes conversations around mental health – which may not otherwise be openly acknowledged or discussed.

The positive feedback from workshops demonstrates the significant impact that Mary is having on men in rural and outback Australia. Her work has also been recognised with the Queensland 2020 Men's Health Award and a national Women Working In Men’s Health Award.