May 10, 2014 5:26 pm

Sheepdogs’ drummer opens up about mental health

Watch the video above: Mental health awareness turns spotlight on men

SASKATOON – As part of mental health awareness week, the issue of men’s health was brought to the forefront by a well-known Saskatoon musician.

Males tend to remain silent when dealing with matters of the mind.

READ MORE: Young Minds: Many boys not reaching out for mental health help

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Stereotypes can make it harder for someone to open up and receive help when they’re battling mental illness.

The Sheepdogs drummer, Sam Corbett, has seen his share of success as well as unhappiness.

He deals with anxiety. It’s a mental health issue he’s dealt with his whole life. It came to a head in 2011, the year the Saskatoon band won a contest held by Rolling Stone magazine.

“We were playing in front of much bigger crowds and had a lot more commitments to do with the band so it made it a really tough time for me because all these great things were happening but at the same time I was experiencing negative feelings,” said Corbett.

Those feelings were affecting his job performance; playing shows, travelling with the band and interacting with coworkers became harder.

It was something he bottled up inside, chalking it up to stage fright.

Corbett knows it’s an illness and does more than open up about his anxiety – he shares his story.

“There certainly is that stigma that guys don’t really want to talk about their feelings but I’ve had it both ways, it was something that I didn’t talk about for a long time and now I’m talking in front of an audience of a couple hundred people about it and it feels much better,” said Corbett.

Watch below: Sam Corbett discusses how anxiety affected him on the Morning News

Warren Albus, a community mental health and rehabilitation nurse in Saskatoon, says in the past decade changes have been made to the way the mental health system approaches male patients.

“Men historically are fixers and so we really didn’t want to talk about it, things as much as we want to,” said Albus, who has been treating mental health patients for roughly 30 years.

Albus says everybody responds differently to different treatments.

Corbett took a multifaceted approach, looking up information about anxiety on the internet and decided from there what was best for him.

The Saskatoon Health Region says if you think or feel like something is wrong, a family doctor is a great place to start.

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