#4 - William Stubbs - Spur Projects, Mental Health, Suicide & How is the World Feeling?

William Stubbs is the cofounder of an organsiation in Australia called Spur Projects. Most Australians would have heard of their "Soften the Fck Up" Campaign and their just launched "How is the World Feeling?" campaign.

In 2011 William co-founded the award winning non-profit mental health initiative Spur Projects - including sharing his mental health experiences in their early video campaigns. This led to a career in mental health activism with a variety of creative, subversive and digital projects. William has appeared on radio and television on the subject of mental health, including the ABC series Man Up for air in October 2016 and is a current finalist for the Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.

Mental health is something that affects everyone. According to Beyond Blue, in Australia, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Suicide has routinely topped the leading cause of death for young men in Australia. More than road accidents, heart disease, skin cancer — you name it. The rate of suicide amongst the LGBT+ community can be up to 14x the national average. We talk about the work that Spur Projects are doing, stigma about mental health and we share some personal experiences.

Favourite quote from episode:

“I’m a white, young male. I’m straight. I’m born in one of the richest countries in the World. In terms of privilege, I kind of hit the lottery. And if I didn’t use that to help other people in some way, it kind of makes me a shitty person. I think that’s probably a strong attitude to take, but I’m really invested in telling other people that regardless of who you are, whether you don’t know what you want to do with your life, whether you are doing something amazing, but you’re looking for that extra thing that’s kind-of worthwhile, do something.” – William [24:40]


People/ items mentioned in this episode:

Mental health statistics

Spur Projects

Soften the Fck Up

How is Australia Feeling?

How is your Organisation Feeling?

How is the World Feeling?

Man Up Documentary

If you need help:

-       In Australia

-       In the United Kingdom

-       In the United States

-       In Singapore

-       Other Countries


Check our William’s website and get in contact with him on Twitter. (You can send him interesting articles about mental health, technology innovation as well as funny gifs).



Show notes

  • In 2011, “Suicide was and still is the number one killer of men in Australia aged 14-44. And in fact, at that time, everyday there will be five Australian men that would kill themselves rather than seeking help. Unfortunately, that number has now grown to six per day, and ten adults per day total”. [06:18]

  • Suicide is routinely topped as the leading cause of death for young men in Australia. William discusses why.  [09:04]
  • How does Spur Projects measure impact? [15:40]
  • “I think that the biggest misconception is that, ‘I can’t do that’.  Which is entirely false” [25:36]
  • Movement in mental health and the way it’s looked at and the importance of language when talking about suicide [35:55]
  • William and Amra share personal thoughts about death and mental health [46:40]
  • What has been a lightbulb moment for you that has changed the way that you think about certain things, or the way that you do things? [52:47]
  • William talks about how to get help if you have depression, anxiety or are going through a tough time [59:46]
  • Three Things [1:05:40]


What is ONE THING you can do to help?

Sign up for “How is the World Feeling?” by Spur Projects. "How is the World Feeling?" is the largest democratic mental health survey in the world - with the aim of collecting over 70 million emotions. Access to such a large, international set of data means unprecedented understanding of mental health across an extremely vast range of demographics and geography.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Let me know in the comments!