Brooker Consulting is proud to partner with The Male Hug.

Coming out of what felt like never ending cycles of lockdowns and government imposed limitations to how we could interact, society is still adjusting to life “back to normal”. Our behaviours changed significantly over two years and one casualty for many has been the impact on their support network. People lost touch with colleagues, stopped playing community sport and simply got out of the habit of catching up with friends.

Even as restrictions eased it has been hard, do we need to book? Is everyone vaxxed? Are we going to have to isolate after?

With this in mind, it has never been more important to be aware of maintaining your people networks.

Your key network is your support network; the people who you choose to share your life with. This is a network of friends, colleagues, neighbours and family who you can turn to.

Having a good support network is a vital tool in maintaining your mental health and wellbeing. As social creatures, our relationships and connections are a basic and core need, behind only physical and safety needs in importance. Support networks are people who will be there in the good and bad times.

“Nourishing our hearts is arguably the most important thing at the moment, because we’re feeling isolated and distant… stay connected… kindness is contagious too – if you do just one kind act each day, it can have a huge knock-on effect.” Dr Chattergee – World renowned health and happiness expert.

Why talk to someone?

  • Talking to someone can make us feel much better. Talking gives order and perspective to our thoughts.
  • You might feel isolated and invisible but people do care. Reaching out will often show you that people do care. It is human nature to care, if someone you know was struggling wouldn’t you want to know and help them?
  • Talking to someone about your thoughts and feelings can lighten the load on your mind, as we say; a problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Talking can help strengthen a sense of purpose and connectivity.
  • Your simple act of sharing your thoughts may even help others do the same in future!

Don’t think about it, talk about it.

Building your network

People who experience positive mental health can usually list four people who they would count as their support network. So, where could your support network come from?


Consider people in your family who you ‘click’ with and are willing to offer time and advice.


You have at least one thing in common, see if you can build greater connections with your neighbours.


Friends can be a great source of support as they often know you well from shared experiences. Try opening up to some friends who you haven’t considered as a good support before. You might be surprised at what and who you find.


Workmates can be a great source of help about issues within and outside of work. Many of us are going back into the workplace so we can have face to face interactions which make it even easier!

Social media and groups

There are many many groups, forums and websites that bring people, with common interests, together. Explore the internet to see if it can add to your support network.

“We need confidence to be rebuilt and I think that starts with the individual.”- Andrew Conway, CEO of Institute of Public Accountants.

To learn more about The Male Hug, please visit their website which you can access here. The Male Hug is not a health or crisis service, nor does it provide clinical advice or professional services. If you are in crisis, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.