Content warning: this article discusses mental health and suicide.
Osher Günsberg is undoubtedly one of the busiest Aussies in showbiz. Along with several podcasts, the 47-year-old hosts a staggering four TV shows including the Bachelor franchise and the recently-returned Masked Singer.
In an exclusive chat with Yahoo Lifestyle, Osher opens up about his pivot from the bright lights of reality TV to investigate Australia's alarmingly high suicide rates in the SBS documentary Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death.
A matter of life and death
There's no other way to put it: our country's suicide stats are confronting and alarming.
It's a subject close to home for Osher, who has long been open about his own past experiences with depression, psychosis and suicidal ideation.
In A Matter of Life and Death, Osher asks what's being done to address the issue and why it doesn't seem to get the same attention as other causes of death.
"If 56 people died this week from, I don't know, let's just say bus crashes, we would stop every bus in the country until we figured it out," he says.
'I've been there'
The good thing is, as Osher discovers, the experts agree that suicide is preventable and there's a raft of new science, innovative thinking and technology that's helping to do so.
But that's addressing only part of the problem. The long-standing stigma attached to mental health issues, Osher explains, can cause those who are struggling as well as their friends and family to clam up.
"It's so socially very difficult to have that discussion because of what we're afraid of discovering if someone's in that much pain.
"We're afraid to even ask the question because we're afraid to be exposed to what's probably quite a personal thing.
"But we need to stop. [Choosing to avoid] feeling uncomfortable asking someone a question is not worth a life."
Normalising discussions around taboo topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide is a fight Osher's more than willing to take on.
"We absolutely have to talk about it, it's a national emergency. Not to mention the 179 people who will attempt [suicide] today.
"That is someone who's in a humongous amount of pain and every one of those 179 people has a husband, wife, brother, sister, father, daughter, son, uncle, cousin who knows that they're in that much pain, so it's affecting a lot of people in our community.
"So when they [SBS] asked me to come and do this documentary I said, 'Absolutely. I've been there, I know what it's like. How can I help?'"
Osher's recipe for mental wellness
As for taking care of his mental health while juggling his full-on career and family life, Osher tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he has a bit of assistance behind the scenes.
"I guess at this point I'm essentially a company, and we produce one product and that product is television hosting," he says.
"My company has a finance department, we have a scheduling department, we have a management department, we have a marketing department so there's a team of people around me that help me bring the product that I deliver," he adds.
As a highly sought-after host-with-the-most, Osher feels 'very lucky' to have people helping manage his time and to say no to projects when he's stretched too thin.
The second part of his strategy involves prioritising self-care activities that help him to reduce anxiety, manage his mood and keep his brain and body healthy.
"I try as hard as I can to make self-care a daily habit. My journaling and training to move my body. At least those two things I try to get every single day.
Osher compares the process of journaling to 'taking out the rubbish the morning after a dinner party'.
"You're like, 'Oh the kitchen stinks of prawns, ew', then you put them in the bin and the kitchen feels better.
"So I get up in the morning when my head's full of crap and I write it all down and get it all out of my head and it feels much better."
A keen cyclist, Osher tries to make going for a ride or doing a workout part of his morning routine so he can reap the benefits throughout the day.
"Exercising stimulates the release of hormones in my body that allow me to shift mood states throughout the day.
"So it's not like 'I have to go work out', it's like, 'I know this is when I work out now' in the same way that I get up in the morning and I go to the toilet or I get up in the morning and I make coffee. I get up in the morning and, after the baby's awake or whatever, I'll go and do some squats. If you make it a habit, it's easy.
"You're keeping fit mentally as well as keeping fit (hopefully) physically which gives you a kind of cushion of resilience to get through things that are unpredictable."
Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death airs 8:30pm, September 19 on SBS.
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