Happy Sad Man - we all know one

By Country News

Benalla Shire rural outreach worker Ivan Lister has featured in the documentary Happy Sad Man, which depicts the lives of five Australian men.

The 96-minute film was created to discuss the relationship between mental health issues and masculinity and focuses on how people can help each other. Seven years in the making, the documentary makers travelled across Victoria, NSW, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania.

Director Genevieve Bailey follows the journey of men dealing with mental health issues, including a photographer in global conflict zones, a musical nomad and a dog-loving artist.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan knew people who were involved in the making of the film and requested that Mr Lister be included.

Mr Lister said it was an opportunity to show that it was common for men to suffer mental health issues, and demonstrate how they coped with their illness.

Mr Lister has worked in his role for 17 years and prides himself on having a strong understanding of the issues facing farmers.

“Drought causes a lot of grief, my job is to assess the farmers and get them on the road to recovery,” he said.

Mr Lister said there was stigma around mental health in the country and what people who suffered from it went through.

“Many of the guys (in the documentary) still struggle with mental health issues — and that's what's so emotional for me,” he said.

As well as Mr Lister's work, the film screens footage of the Euroa Men's Shed and Strathbogie Shire farmers.

Happy Sad Man has been shown across region, and Mr Lister has taken part in Q&A sessions following the screenings.

The film is set to be screened in Shepparton on a date yet to be determined, and will also be shown at the following locations:

● Carlton: Cinema Nova on Thursday October 31 at 6.45pm;

● Bendigo: Star Cinema on Sunday, November 24 at 1pm;

Castlemaine: Theatre Royal on Sunday, November 24 at 5.30pm;

Geelong: Pivotonian on Friday, November 29 at 7.30pm;

Yarraville: Sun Theatre on Saturday, November 30 at 4.30pm; and

Rosebud: Peninsula Cinema on Wednesday, December 4 at 7pm.