When Rulla was a child his life seemed more simple. His imagination fueled what he saw, what he did and who he was. The older he grew, the more challenges he faced. The more challenges he faced, the harder life got. Does this sound familiar?

Rulla is a proud Palawa-Pakana (Tasmanian Aboriginal) man who was born under Tulunpunga (Mount Roland).  He grew up on country, learning connection to the land, culture, music, family and the stories they shared, surrounded by wildlife in a beautiful part of the world – everything he did, he did with a smile.

Fast forward into Rulla’s teen years and he was living in a world which was not in line with what he imagined the world would be. Tragedies and expectations knocked his thoughts from positive to negative and from there he couldn’t control his thoughts or understand how to shift them back. Happy at times, always smiling around people so no one knew, but in moments of self-thought he found himself saying “I can’t do this, stuff it!” But was that really Rulla or just the impression of the world in front of him? A rollercoaster of emotions that eventually caught up with him and drove Rulla to hit rock bottom.

Once Rulla consciously decided to work his way out of his negative situation, it became clear to him that his depression and anxiety couldn’t have come from his 10-year -old self – that kid was one of the happiest kids there was. Somewhere in between then and now those negative thoughts had to come from somewhere, but where? Acceptance, expectations, losing loved ones, income, relationships, trauma, failure, alcohol, drugs, and low self-esteem. All things that can negatively affect anyone at any age. So how do we shift those things to a positive that work in our favour? The ability to find one’s self is the first step, and from there, compassion, self-acceptance, resilience, gratitude, and togetherness create the opportunity to pause… take a breath… and find solutions to your social and emotional health and well-being (mental health). It helps you find a sense of purpose, and ultimately find your path and tell your story.

At the start of 2017, this concept of sharing and helping was initially created as a form of personal therapy for Rulla; the desire to help everybody and anybody –  Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. From then it has grown into what it is now. We all can learn and help others anywhere, at any given time. If you had the opportunity to help someone, would you?