Osher Günsberg has spent most of the last 20 years on our television screens. He started his career at Channel V, then The Bachelor Australia and most recently The Masked Singer Australia. He also has his own Podcast, Better Than Yesterday, and has written his memoir Back, After the Break, an instant best seller now in its second edition. Osher has been on the board of SANE Australia, and an ambassador for The Shepherd Centre, the leading children’s charity for children born deaf or hearing impaired.
In September 2021, Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death was released on SBS Television and SBS On Demand. In this documentary, Osher, motivated by his own mental health issues and the high rate of suicide in Australia, investigates developments in science and technology that could be used for its prevention.
We approached Osher to participate in the Woven Threads Series – Stories from Within. In this series, through beautifully crafted animations, we share stories of people living with mental health problems. Osher has most generously shared his experiences.
Osher Günsberg, definitely, doesn’t look like a person who’d have trouble leaving his house in the morning, fearing the sun and its effects on the environment. But mental health issues cross all social and demographic boundaries and may affect the most unlikely lives, deeply and directly.
In a candid discussion with Osher, we talked about his childhood anxiety; his dysregulated eating, addictions, and psychosis. Osher spoke honestly and openly about his delusion that alcohol was not the problem. “Alcohol was my solution”, he said. During the process of becoming sober he learnt many skills that helped him get through his episodes of psychosis.
Therapy made him realise the importance of the daily work needed to live with a complicated mental health issue: coffee first to wake-up the brain, then journaling to acknowledge the anxieties, reading the news (especially the weather) for exposure therapy and then, exercise for positive endorphins—all, before the family gets up and about. It’s this daily routine that calms his fears and prepares him to face the day—his backpack of anxieties safely fastened.
Because we know that mental health issues can affect any of us, at any time, we believe that the work we do is vital and has the power to genuinely transform lives. Thank you Osher for opening the window to your mind and shining a light on the challenges of living with mental health issues and giving us all hope.