Episode 54 - Preserving Western Lifestyle While Moving Forward In Mental Health with Brett Gardiner



For this interview, I had the opportunity to chat with world renowned, and the most decorated rodeo announcer in Canada, Brett Gardiner. Brett is an advocate for mental health - especially in sport - and has his Masters degree in counselling psychology, plus Brett is working towards his doctorate in clinical counselling. Brett grew up with deep roots in agriculture on both sides, and was raised on an acreage with horses, then moved into announcing western sports and becoming passionate about rodeo and PBR. 

When I asked Brett about his background in mental health and how he got more interested in mental health, he talked about his teaching background and loved creating relationships with people while giving back to others. As a teacher, Brett enjoyed diverse learners helping work with social emotional learning. As a rodeo announcer, Brett found that he had reached all of his dreams and goals, but even with phenomenal support systems and his dreams achieved, he wasn't quite feeling the best way he should; he was dealing with depression and anxiety. Through his mental health journey, Brett learned various tools and a lot about himself, and that's when he decided study counselling psychology. 

Right now, Brett wants to work on walking the walk and talking the talk, and showing everyone that it is possible to come out of those dark days, learn about yourself, and grow from that experience. 

In rodeo and western lifestyle sports especially, we have a lot of work to do and a long ways to go when it comes to mental health and advancing the mental health conversations in the industry. The unique and special thing about western lifestyle is the John Wayne, rough, and tough mentality and culture, which Brett would love to see preserved while also identifying and acknowledging that talking about mental health and bringing light to mental health can be done at the same time. He feels optimistic that, like in agriculture generally, we are moving in the right direction. 

Listen to more from Brett on Episode 56 Here



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