Happy Monday! In the weeks Off The Handle episode, I spoke with CEO.ca user @Longputt and we talk www.HeadsUpGuys.org, an online resource for men either dealing with depression. In this episode you'll hear:
- How @Longputt got involved with headsupguys.org - [00:01:28]
- A few stats about headsupuys.org - [00:03:19]
- Anecdotal stories showing how depression is widespread in financial market participants- [00:05:17]
- The two biggest issues causing depression in men - [00:07:37]
- Recap on what types of info/resources you'll find at headsupguys.org - [00:08:26]
I've provided a few links below which @Longputt emphasised as being particularly valuable. Thanks for taking the time to check it out and good luck to everyone in your investments!
Vaughan: Welcome back, everybody. Today I have with me a user who goes by the handle @Longputt and his real name is Brad Newell. Brad, thanks for joining me today.
Longputt: Hey, Chris. Thanks for inviting me on the show. I'm excited to talk to you.
Vaughan: No problem. My pleasure. These off the handle interviews generally followed a pretty set schema up until recently. We're going to diverge from that schema with you, because I became aware of your handle through some other stuff that you were doing that I think is super worthwhile and really needs to be given a spotlight as much as we can, especially in our community of venture speculators. It's it's a tough space sometimes physically, but also mentally. I'll mention the name of the site so people can go have a look at it while we're talking. It's called www.headsupguys.org.
Do you mind sharing a little bit about the site, about how you got involved with it and give us the 411 on what people should know?
Longputt: Yeah, sure. I'd love to. Five and a half years ago, somebody in my family took their life, it was the fifth suicide in my family over 80 years. I've got to be careful what I say because there's still a lot of pain there. I found this website headsupguys.org. My friend sent to me and it looked pretty good. So I got a hold of the guy that ran it, Dr. John Ogrodniczuk. I get his name wrong all the time... I call him Dr. John. I'm always worried about burn rates and just like when I'm looking at these public companies, I want to know where the money's going. Is it going in the ground? It was the same idea with this.
So I met with Dr. John and I don't mix words: I told him I don't like psychiatrists. I said "you guys all went to university because you were a little bit off and you're trying to figure out why. All you want to do is give a drug..." and he agreed, actually. He said "I don't give drugs at all." So my family kept talking it over and we realized how important this site was and if we didn't get involved, they were probably going to shut down. They didn't have any funds. Since that day, my family's back the site and it's what I do daily.
You know for us guys as we get older you know 45-60 years old, our bodies go through menopause. Mom's not happy: Nobody's happy. Dad's not happy: Who cares. There might be financial problems or infidelity and it is hard on guys. For market guys the highs and the lows of the market: holy smokes it's even worse! Some of these guys are very, very wealthy guys. There's so much pressure in the stock market. When it's down, it's an emotional low... and then there's a margin call or whatever. Sometimes they're living beyond their means and maybe they're drinking too much.
But the thing about headsupguys.org, there's been three million men go to the site in the last five years, three million around the world. Three hundred thousand filled out the self check questionnaire. It's free, its anonymous and every guy should do it. At Headsupguys.org, we know we're saving lives. Over 150 people a day - mostly at night when a guy's drinking or whatever - punch in a google search of "I want to kill myself", or "I want to die". "Should I jump off a bridge?" "Should I us carbon dioxide". Over 150 people a day! You see a lot of guys think they're the only ones that struggle like they're weak. You're not weak, everybody struggles.
Vaughan: I first came across one of my past guests because I found out that one of his friends had committed suicide. This guy was a market guy, he was a public company executive member, and he was a young guy! It was certainly an eye opener. That was in the first year that I was investing in the venture markets back in 2015-2016.
As moderator of CEO.CA, I'm dealing with all kinds of people and you never know where someone might be mentally. I've talked to a couple of guys who were really lashing out on the site but they were having bigger issues than just deciding to talk shit on a chat site. Then covid happened and everyone got locked inside. My job became a little trickier because now what I was going to do, cut people's tongues out while they're sitting at home alone for a year!?
I've shared the website headsupguys.org with a couple people and I keep putting it out there any time I can. I have to commend you for stepping forward and really putting your backing behind to this. I know that you've had success in your life and it's great to see people giving back.
Longputt: Listen to this one Chris, this is crazy. I can't use his name as he’s a big market guy in Canada. I'm talking BIG. I call him out of the blue one day, asking a question about a certain area I liked. He was going to give me five minutes of his time but he asked me about headsupguys.org. We talked for four hours! The craziest part was that he went to a file in his cabinet. It was kind of eerie, he had sixteen friends that have committed suicide since he was in university. 15 men and one woman. When he started telling me about each one and why I actually learned a lot. What I learned is he lost five of them in university because of the stress and the other ones were market guys.
It’s like in Alberta, there was a guy, George Gosbee. This guy owned the Arizona Coyotes. He owned a ton of oil companies. He was on corporate boards. 47 years old, he took his life. Everybody thought he had the best life ever. I know this sounds crazy but for some of these guys the more they own the more pressure there is.
Vaughan: Money only matters when you don't have it. For anybody who's had a certain level of success people might look at him and say, oh, my God, your life is great but money doesn't always make that difference. I've made a couple of friends who have made significant wealth in the markets in the past five years, say, and when I met them and they're much more wary of people's intentions when they're reaching out to them. Everybody's always trying to get it either at your money or at your rolodex. It almost seems very hard to make true friends and connections.
I know I'm going off on a tangent here, but all this factors into it being a great thing that headsupguys is out there so that anybody who finds themselves in these situations - and most of us do at some point find ourselves in a situation where we're not feeling the greatest - we have a resource and a known place for people to go.
Longputt: It's a great website if you want to know why your guy's depressed too. At least twenty percent of the people that fill out the self check are female, which is great too. But the two things we found that bother men by far are loneliness and lack of sense of purpose. You have to have a sense of purpose, a reason why you get up in the morning.
Vaughan: We don't talk about it that much. It's tough, it's always tough. I'm happy to be able to share the website with anybody who might hear about it here and might need it.
Longputt: We're setting up this directory across Canada of good psychologists. If anybody is depressed, they can go there and find a good one because they're hard to find.
Vaughan: So the site itself is a source of information. There's also a list of psychiatrists potentially going across Canada that people can consult. what else can people look for or find that could help?
Longputt: There's so much information on there like things about diet, sleep, meditation… lots of real stories from other guys of why they're stressed. Some of the videos are really good, actually.
If your husband is strong when you go on there, you can try to figure out why. There's different courses you can take. It's really well laid out on the site. The best thing is the self check and a stress test. Everybody should do those. Takes ten minutes and you can learn a lot about yourself.
Vaughan: I'll link those to this episode into the article so that people can have that directly in the article. Next time in Vancouver, I'll I'll be reaching out to you.
Longputt: Awesome. You guys have a great day and thanks for interviewing me.
Vaughan: Cheers, buddy. I appreciate it.