Invisible Injuries- Mental health ambassadors

S04E03 - Adam Blum (True Blue Conversations) pt1

August 23, 2023

S04E03 - Adam Blum (True Blue Conversations) pt1

Andy introduces our first “Firey”  RFS (Rural Fire Service) first responder, Adam Blum of Blue Mountains Brigade.

Andy and Adam touch on the diagnosis of ADHD and what the landscape looked like back then as a relatively unchartered disorder.  Adam mentioned in his recent book his parents attracted a lot of criticism for medicating him and his brother.  His parents, after much research committed to a program against fierce family opposition and kept specialists appointments for reviews.   Adam expands on his mindset at that time including the stigma of a disability.   How he managed to push against opinions and personal  challenges.

When the  RFS came through the Blue Mountains to protect homes from bush fires Christmas 2001/2002, Adam was 8 years old.   It ignited a  fire in Adam as he watched them work.  At 19 years Adam finally entered the RFS as a volunteer and shared some of the character building jobs that went into those years before finally becoming a paid firefighter.  Wild fires complex calculations that the public wouldn’t know about.  Given his personal challenges, Adam continued to fight to the top of his profession and what motivated him.  Conversely, the bad bush fire season of 2019-2020 which severely tested him with things he’d never seen a fire previously do.  The subject of Trauma and suicide comes to the surface and what Adam feels acerbated his suicide attempt in 2016.

Adams book has a detailed section on his attempted suicide  but he was okay to expand on the circumstances in this episode in the hope that it may spark a message to the audience.   Specifically incorrect self talk put there by ugly speaking influencers contributing to the way down of his mental state and the patience and purpose to “self elevate” out of dark despair.   Adam gives time lines to form his own “mental health team” to outline what a real-time recovery might look like.   Quick fixes don’t exist and flipping the pain to drive recovery. 

Dealing with judgment and misinformed people whilst in that vulnerable state with simple answers when this is a complex problem with unique individuals requiring a unique way back to living.  It’s when you break out of the “real men don’t speak” mantra that you can get traction, they agreed and went deeper into discussing the turning point in more detail.   

Contact -  Adam Blum
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