Aussie sports presenter opens up on devastating double tragedy

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Brad McEwan, pictured here during a Wests Tigers media opportunity in conjunction with Beyond Blue in 2019.
Brad McEwan speaks to the media during a Wests Tigers media opportunity in conjunction with Beyond Blue in 2019. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

TV sports presenter Brad McEwan has opened up about the pain of losing his father and brother to suicide.

The former Channel Ten presenter has spoken publicly for the first time about the devastating double tragedy, teaming up with Beyond Blue in their new podcast 'Not Alone'.

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McEwan's brother Craig died in 1989 when he was just 19, before father Bob also died by suicide in 1990 in his 50s.

The 50-year-old McEwan, an ambassador for Beyond Blue, opened up to the Herald Sun on Wednesday about why he is speaking out now.

“It’s not something that comes up in most conversations, but when you’re reminded of how difficult that period was, I was sad and found myself getting emotional,’’ McEwan told the Herald Sun.

“The whole family was as I never go into the depths of the days and the hours of losing Craig and Dad.

“Having been a Beyond Blue ambassador for a decade or so, I just felt like I needed to. I wasn’t being true to myself or our experience as a family if I didn’t put my hand up. 

"I’m very aware that conversations save lives and I was aware it would involve going deeper and reliving a harrowing time in our lives. And that wasn’t easy. We all know how much it’s going to help people.”

Brad McEwan, pictured here with Channel Ten colleagues Candice Wyatt and Stephen Quartermain in 2016.
Brad McEwan with Channel Ten colleagues Candice Wyatt and Stephen Quartermain in 2016. (Photo by Sam Tabone/WireImage)

Brad McEwan wants to end mental health stigmas

After a 20-year career at Network Ten, McEwan now works in leadership and media training.

He sees a real need for attitudes towards mental health in Australia to change.

“Conversations around mental health, my goal is that they will be no different to conversations around physical health,’’ he said.

“It really hits home the contrast in attitudes. Mental health and wellbeing is no different to physical health and wellbeing."

Beyond Blue echoed that sentiment in its description of McEwan's episode of the podcast.

"For too long, talking about mental health has been a no-go zone between mates. Considered a sign of weakness," the mental health organisation wrote on its website.

"This is an attitude that has to change. Brad has dedicated himself to the breaking stigma that stops so many men from speaking up."

McEwan has worked for the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne editions of Ten News First, as well as hosting the iconic program Sports Tonight.

He stepped down from his presenting duties in 2018.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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