Brooke Blurton: R U OK Ambassador “U Matter to Me” (Interview)

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60 marchers emblazoned with ‘U Matter to Me’ marched on the Sydney Mardi Gras float.  While many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse people live happy, healthy and productive lives, the National LGBTI Alliance reports the community continue to experience a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than non-LGBTI people.

We caught up with R U OK? Ambassador and media personality Brooke Blurton  who recently travelled from Perth WA, to take part in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade for the first time.  There was no better way to catch up with this great role model during pride season and this weekend’s International Women’s Day.

Brooke works as an Aboriginal Youth Worker, Aboriginal Mental Health First Aid Instructor, AFL and Rugby Union player and LGBTI+ advocate.  Her personal experience drives her passion for suicide prevention and mental health awareness caring for her older sister who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and surviving her mother who sadly took her own life when Brooke was just 11.

“As a bisexual woman and Yamatji Noongar woman, being here to champion R U OK?’s ‘U Matter to Me’ message is a proud and emotional moment,” said Blurton. “We’ve lost far too many people from our beautiful diverse Australian community, and we all have a part to play in decreasing the statistics.   It’s so important we let the people around
us know we genuinely care and are truly here to listen.   A great place to start is asking
‘Are you ok?   Because you matter to me” when we spot the signs they might be struggling with life.”

Who inspires you in everyday life to keep on this journey of self development and inspiring others?

My family would definitely would be the people who inspire me the most and the young people I work with, seeing their experiences always inspire me to be better.

As the survivor of someone who was in a high at-risk category having come from a rural community, what is one thing you can say to someone who has had thoughts of self harm or suicide?

Can I be here and with you at this time?   …. and the follow up is really important and sticking to my word.

Brooke goes discusses her own experience in reflecting on the people who would be left behind if a loved one did go through with it.

The devastation, the heart break and obviously the grievance.  Its not only damaging to the family closet but also the community.

What’s one common misconception/s you would want people to know about fluid individuals in the LGBTI community?

With sexuality especially, it has to be catorigised or labelled to a box, but the misconception is that it is not needed.   It’s about breaking down those barriers and allowing the person to be who they are and label themselves how they are and want to be.

What can people do to start improving their own mindset that can help with creating more purpose and clarity in their life?

I think surrounding yourself with uplifting people is one of the biggest things I do, I have this saying I stick to,  which is – you are the 5 people you surround yourself around everyday and should be inspired by those people and you can have more or less than that but you need to have surrounded by amazing people.

What 5 tracks would you recommend for a “Happy” spotify playlist to help lift someone’s mood?

Anything anything lizzo, Bruno mars is my jame and the other Spotify playlist I know is happy vibes only, six60 and a good podcast makes me happy.

What advice would you have for someone reading this who feels lost in life?

Utilize resources and to become more self aware in your own self and its going to hard but if you can get past this fuzzy time, everything will fall into place, just be optimistic and hopeful, I know it sound easy, but it isn’t easy, however if you use those resources that are out there and available to you can honestly change your perspective.

What are your favorite Netflix Shows?

Anything building really!, I just like a before and after, I get satisfaction. But anything that’s light hearted and not too traumatizing haha.

Photography: Jeffrey Feng Photography, Josephine Ki Photography

 

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