Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, depression, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017




It is R U OK? Day today and a timely reminder for all of us to remain vigilant about our loved ones and work colleagues.

Mental health issues affect a large number of people in our society and they deserve our awareness and support. There is also a disturbing high trend of youth suicide.

Often just having someone who will listen without judging, to get a hug, a smile, and to not feel totally abandoned and alone in fighting the black dog, is so very important.

When that big black hole opens and the anxiety and depression takes over, it is a huge battle to try to pull yourself out of it, and sometimes it seems futile to keep on trying, as even getting out of bed in the morning is too much.

So ask the people around you if they are ok, because many of us just keep smiling while sinking deeper and deeper in the hole of no return. You could safe someone’s life today!



Roel Loopers

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Posted in city of fremantle, electricity, energy, environment, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on July 24, 2017


The monthly Fremantle Network events are always interesting, and for those inclined so, they are also good opportunities to meet new people and network.

This evening Monday July 24 at 6 pm, upstairs at the National Hotel will have two speakers.

James Eggleston is undertaking groundbreaking research in the renewable energy sector, working on a pilot project at the WGV development that seeks to enable strata developments Australia wide to the benefits of solar PV and battery storage.

James is a PhD Researcher at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute on an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) scholarship.

Game changing transition to a more sustainable energy future is happening right here in Fremantle, come along to find out how.

Godfrey Baronie is a Freo local and the CEO of Mates in Construction, a non profit organization that works to reduce the extremely high rate of suicide among construction workers

Incredibly, 190 Australians working in the construction industry take their own lives every year, this means we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide.

Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work. For our young workers, the facts are that they are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australian men.

Godfrey’s joyful manner and lust for life is a shining light for people experiencing dark times.

Bar and kitchen will be open, so stay on for a bit, have dinner and support the National Hotel!

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on July 4, 2017


The Fremantle Arts Centre acted swiftly on a complaint by the Liberal Member for Tangney Ben Morton and has put an attendent in front of the controversial suicide exhibit he wrote about in the West Australian today.

There were already signs warning that the video created by artist Roxby Smith is not suitable for children, and barriers now make visitors even more aware that part of the show is challenging.

I commented about this when I reviewed the entire new shows at the FAC a couple of weeks ago.

While I believe art should be challenging instead of being mere decorative, I personally find the suicide video, where an animation of a woman shoots herself in the head multiple times in different street locations, tasteless and not at all helpful to having a serious discussion about mental health and all the reasons why people feel they have no option but to take their own life.

I reluctantly show some screen shots of the video so that those who can’t get to the FAC know what I am talking about.

This is definitely not a video children should be viewing so keep them away from it!

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, fremantle, mental health by freoview on February 19, 2017



Can You See My Mind is a powerful art exhibition about mental health upstairs at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery in Henry Street, Fremantle.

The works by photographer Melanie English and artist Megan Henry have been created from mental health questionnaires completed by people who suffered or are still suffering a mental health condition.

Mental health issues affect one in five Australians every year so it is not something we should be ignorant or judgmental about.

We have come a long way and no longer call people who have mental health problems lunatics or crazy, but there is often still a stigma attached to it and a presumption that the issues are alcohol or drug related, hence many people try to fight depression in isolation.

Shame, fear, loneliness, anxiety and feeling so deeply tired of life, in what one perceives to be absolute isolation and abandoned by society and friends, is a very traumatic experience that sadly often ends in suicide.

It is important that we are constantly aware that even close friends might not share their mental health issues with us and that asking and being observant is very important.

This exhibition helps us understand just a little bit better how and what people with mental health poblems go through.

Also at the Moores at ground level is a sculpture and painting show by Jon Denaro.

Roel Loopers




Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, esplanade youth plaza, mental health, suicide, youth by freoview on October 9, 2016

The Changing Your Tune event at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark was a lot of fun but also a stark reminder that so many people in Australia suffer from mental health issues and commit suicide.

There was live music, burlesque and skating coaching clinics, but also hundreds of shoes on display to remind us that suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for 15-44 year olds.

In 2016 3,027 people took their own life, with the Aboriginal rate of suicide twice as high as that of non Aboriginal people.

Western Australia has the highest rate of Aboriginal suicide in Australia, and a very disturbing trend of very young people seeing no other way out of their despair than killing themselves.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, health, mental health, suicide, western australia by freoview on September 8, 2016

It is R U OK? Day today, a day where we are reminded off the very high rate of suicide and mental health problems in Australia. We even have a very high rate of youth suicide that is very disturbing.

Of suicides in Australia 75% are committed by men who in our macho society still find it hard to seek help and that needs to change, as there is no shame in admitting that one is battling the black dog.

When someone tells you they are not o.k don’t say that there are many people worse off, because it is totally irrelevant for those who are in the deepest, darkest and loneliest space in the universe in the jaws of the black dog.

Depression and anxiety is not some selfish self-indulgence and feeling sorry for oneself, so being told to stop whingeing because other people are worse off is like being told that one is a loser who should stop the poor me attitude.

Depression is a very frightening emotion where one sees no future and no way out of that huge black hole, and one believes that no one can help because no one understands. It is a deeply lonely battle where one feels absolutely abandoned by the world and all one wants is peace and to not wake up the next morning.

Committing suicide is not a selfish and coward act but one of utter desperation because one sees no other way out. It is the most awful soul-destroying feeling of aloneness that is impossible for me to put in words. It makes me shudder to even think off it.

The black dog keeps coming back in the most unexpected moments and when one believes one has won the fight. That awful pressure of anxiety in one’s chest is only made a little more bearable by hoping that it might be the start of a heart attack and that life will soon end, so that one hopefully does not have to commit suicide.

It is easy to smile and show a stiffer upper lip and to answer I am okay when people ask, but deep inside one knows one is just a little bit okay for a short while, maybe a whole day, but many evenings we go to bed and ask the universe to not let us wake up tomorrow because we are so exhausted fighting depression.

So thank you, I am okay today and will have great fun talking to many international visitors at the Roundhouse, and I sincerely wish and hope that YOU are okay as well!

Roel Loopers




Posted in fremantle, health, mental health, suicide, western australia by freoview on August 26, 2016

Bluebird blog


Anxiety Disorders Australia  donated $5,000 of their remaining funds to Bluebird Mental Health at Ferns House in Fremantle’s High Street today.

Previously known as GenWHY?, Bluebird is an up and coming mental health charity with a big vision:  To be Australia’s leading provider of psychologist led, peer supported services championing adult mental health and wellbeing.

Bluebird has achieved a great deal with very little funding, and has been able to provide support groups to over 390 individuals in 2015 from CBD locations in both Fremantle and Perth.

Founded in 2009 Bluebird is the only organisation in WA dedicated to offering support groups facilitated by registered psychologists for over 25’s. In addition, Bluebird offers this services for free to all members, relying solely on private and grant based funding.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for all Australians between 15 and 44 years of age. Bluebird’s integrated program of support builds confidence and skills of members allowing them to manage their own anxiety and/or depression, reaching people in need before they become another statistic!





Posted in art, fremantle, health, mental health, western australia by freoview on May 25, 2016


There is an interesting creative event on at Fremantle B Shed on Victoria Quay this Saturday May 28. SPECTRUM is a single day design event by Osnat Harlap of Urbanframeworks.

It uses the positive effects of mental and physical renewal as its theme, and invites you to explore the impact of creativity on mental space.

The program complements the forum.

On show and opening on Friday are new works by well-known Freo artist Eveline Kotai.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, health, mental health by freoview on March 18, 2016

Music to Open Your Mind. Mental Health Week

The Music To Open Your Mind mental health awareness event is on again at Fremantle Kings Square this Sunday from 12 noon and worth visiting. There are a lot of stalls with information about mental health, but there is also a lot of entertainment and fun.

The Elektric Co Tria, Ella E, Wasamba, Mambo Chic and the St Patrick’s Starliaght Choir will be performing, there is a climbing wall, children’s activities and food stalls, so go and have a look.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, mental health by freoview on October 6, 2015

It is MENTAL HEALTH WEEK and students of Fremantle Notre Dame University have a display in the courtyard near the library today and are asking people to paint positive messages on the pavement at High Street.

Mental health is a serious worry because it affects so many people in our society. We hear of the terrible tragedy of children as young as nine-year-old taking their own life, depression is a way of life for many older people, and anxiety about life and the future is prevalent throughout our community.

I went through a huge mental health crisis myself in 1995 and the black dog has been sniffing at my heels every since. All of a sudden and out of nowhere that big black sink hole opens up at one’s trembling feet and it is near impossible to stop oneself from falling in. There is a deep sense of aloneness and powerlessness when this happens, and the inability to see a positive future ahead. One does not believe that anyone understands or can help you, so you struggle on alone and in despair and feel abandoned by the world.

Experts tell us to go and see our GP but not all GPs have empathy for someone in a mental health crisis, as I found out years ago. When I was down and very very nearly out I asked for a referral to Healthy Minds who operated out of Headspace at the time, but my GP said they were probably just a new self-serving unit he had never heard off and suggested I should go to “dancing halls” to pick up a rich woman who would look after me. Hearing that I was not surviving financially he told me I had enough fat to burn so I should not worry about having no money for food. No money for rent? You can sleep in your car, my medical professional advised me.

I was treated like a drug-addicted loser, but I was lucky that I was not an insecure self-doubting youth, but a mature person with enough self love to walk out of the meeting with the GP and thought of it as the most expensive stand-up comedy session I had been to.

The letter of complaint I sent to the GP did not get a response, but the people at Healthy Minds were wonderful. And so I live on and try to love life and people as much as I can. Every day is special and I know some bad days will come, but I feel strong enough to fight them, talk about it, and ask some good friends for a hug when I need one.

And of course I no longer go to the uncaring fool who calls himself a GP.

Roel Loopers


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