Russell Campbell says the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Sons of the West program saved his life. 

Three years ago, urged on by some close friends, Campbell became a participant of the Braybrook zone of the program.

He was quickly diagnosed with depression, following a marriage breakdown, and it started him on the road to recovery.

Since then, he has become a lifelong advocate for men’s mental health, and for the impact that Sons of the West can have for so many males in a similar position. 


“The Sons of the West program does mean a lot to me, because it got me out of my depression zone,” Campbell says.

“I met new friends, and it got me talking about men’s mental health.

“It taught me new ways of taking on life, even though life was hard for me.  It was tough.  I didn’t want to talk about it at first.

“People need to give it a go.  People just need to go with an open mind and be truthful to themselves, and open up and just chat. 

“There are guys there that are in the same boat.  I was someone who I didn’t think needed help, and I needed help.

“For me, it was a life saver.”

Despite the second lockdown restrictions being in place for greater metropolitan Melbourne, Sons of the West will run a modified eight-week program, based online, from next week.

Registrations are open until Monday July 13 for men aged 18 and over who live in Maribyrnong, Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Melton, Wyndham, Ballarat and Whittlesea.

There will still be opportunities to join the program up until Sunday 26 July 2020, for more details email