Meanwhile, around that same time...
Graham Panther was settling in Melbourne, after moving over from his hometown of Auckland. He’d come over to work on Australia’s mental health system - trying to create more human responses to people in distress.
Fast-forward to 2017.
Honor’s an increasingly well-known artist, podcaster, and mental health advocate. Graham’s having a bit of a nervous breakdown. They meet in a cafe and get talking about big, gooey ideas.
Like, why isn’t there a place you can go when you’re having a hard time, to meet other people who’ve gone through similar stuff?
Somewhere you can talk about your big, scary feelings, without feeling like a loser?
Somewhere you can feel like you belong on earth, even when you feel awful?
This was the first meeting of the Big Feels Club.
The professional spiel
Between us, we bring a mix of mental health systems know-how, creative industry cred, and unabashed messy life experience.
Just the right recipe for doing something genuinely new, we think.
Graham consults to government and non-profits across Australia and New Zealand, and he has helped advance the cause of peer support in all manner of settings.
Honor cracked the top ten of iTunes Australia with a podcast she made in her bedroom, and was hand-picked by the ABC to turn her life story into a groundbreaking memoir podcast.
The Big Feels Club is part art project, part grassroots community initiative.
We got our first philanthropic grant from a private donor in early 2018, and have since added to that with Victoria state government support. We are auspiced by the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), our big sister organisation.
What we do is not therapy, and that’s kind of the whole point. It’s one of the few spaces you can go and not feel that anyone is trying to ‘fix’ you. In our experience, that’s a sacred thing.
What do we do?
We create spaces for sensitive types like us to talk about big, scary feelings with one another. And we share what we’ve learned from our own trips down the existential plughole. We do this three ways:
- We run real life meet ups, mostly in Melbourne for now.
- We write articles and make podcasts about life + feelings.
- And we curate discussion spaces for people to unpack it all.