Well-ness rises from ground up
LIFE has been full of ups and downs for one Bundaberg man, but through his own personal journey with mental health, the high-spirited fellow is paying it forward by helping others in the same boat.
Brodie Klotz is many things - he is one of four boys, a son, a husband, a dog owner and a wellness blogger.
He has also faced significant traumas and lives with depression, anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but none of these terms define who Brodie is at his core, which is why he founded The Wellness Guy earlier this year.
"I started The Wellness Guy because I wanted to share my journey with mental health and give real life experience strategies to cope with anxiety and depression," Mr Klotz said.
While the Wellness advocate is not a qualified counsellor or practitioner, he said he is unable to provide medical advice, but is using the social media platform and his personal experience with mental health to help others realise they are not alone.
After working in the community services sector in Bundaberg for four years, Brodie has experience in employment services, disability support, mental health recovery and also volunteered as a first responder for SES and a crisis support counsellor for Lifeline.
"I am very passionate about advocacy in mental health, as my family and I have lived through our share of grief, loss and trauma and at an early age, I was visiting friends and family in mental health facilities, so I was exposed to the outward effects of suicide quite early," Mr Klotz said.
"The cloud of mental health followed me through my life, with bullying at school, struggling to find my identity as an individual and struggling to live up to life expectations, like relationships, university and work.
"But in my time working in the community, I found out who I am and what I want to do and as much as I wish I did not have to live through the trauma I have, I am still very grateful for the lessons I have learnt through it and I will use this as the driving force that rewrites my story into a positive one."
Brodie and his wife moved from Bundaberg to Brisbane this year so that he had access to his health specialists, but sadly adversity struck again when Brodie unexpectedly lost his job.
But The Wellness Guy has chosen to look on the bright side and has used the opportunity to start his incredible blog and develop his own website too.
"I am returning to the workforce in a few months, though I am going to continue working as The Wellness Guy as my side hustle," Mr Klotz said.
"My father came and visited us from Bundaberg and during that time he became unwell, so I drove him back and surprised a few friends that I hadn't caught up with them since February."
Since starting The Wellness Guy on Instagram in late March, Brodie has generated 1,500 followers from all over the globe and appeared as a guest speaker on a variety of podcasts.
Brodie said the feedback he has received has been positive, with many followers thanking him for opening up about his honest and raw experiences with mental health and how he tackles them each day.
The Wellness blogger said his goal is to create mental health workshops and a wellness retreat which specialises in mental health, building confidence, self-esteem and sharing personal experiences with others in a safe space.
Keep up to date by following Brodie's Instagram account at instagram.com/thewellness.guy.
If you or someone you know is struggling, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.