It feels good to let the black dog out

08. 41NEWS

• Alessandro Alberti and Massimo Iustino want people to open up on their Black Dog on a Lead walk. Photo by Steve Grant.

WHEN Massimo Iustini’s depression was getting worse and he felt no-one wanted to talk about it, he felt he had two options, “ending everything” or starting to talk about it.

“It’s something that from my perspective, it eats you from the inside out,” he says. It was time to get it out.

Fellow 23-year-old Alessandro Alberti has also had run ins with depression and anxiety. His own father Claude (former Fremantle councillor John Alberti’s brother) suffered depression and ended his life in 2010.

“I didn’t realise what I was going through had a name,” he says. Suppressing it made it worse.

Both men say they felt a huge relief when opening up with their stories.

“I feel a lot more comfortable talking about it,” Mr Alberti says.

“You don’t have to keep it inside, it’s not something that you have to confine to yourself.

“I haven’t had any negative feedback whatsoever, what we have had is people opening up to us… with their own experiences. Once you show the courage to open up other people are a lot more willing to open up to you.”

The pair has organised a “Black Dog on a Lead” walk around Bibra Lake reserve on October 18, encouraging people to chat openly about depression while out for the stroll.

“We’re encouraging people to talk to people they’ve never met before,” Mr Iustini says. “The walk isn’t just for people suffering, it’s for everyone, it’s for people who experience it indirectly, it’s for people who haven’t experienced it at all.”

The walk is on October 18 at 9am and there’ll be snacks and tunes, and their online page http://www.facebook/com/blackdogonalead has all the info for signing up.


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