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Interview: Teenage Supercars driver and 'R U OK?' Day ambassador Tyler Everingham

On 'R U OK?' Day, we sit down and have a chat with teenage Supercars driver Tyler Everingham.

Today is 'R U OK? Day', and we caught up with racing driver and R U OK? ambassador Tyler Everingham about cars and the importance of talking about mental health.

Tyler began his racing career at age 10, starting in go-karts and progressing through to open-wheel Formula 4 racing when he was 15.

Since then, he's graduated to the Supercars Championship series, with the 19-year-old rumoured to be driving his debut Bathurst 1000 race in a V8 Supercar this year.

But while rising up through the ranks of motorsport, Tyler's sibling was struggling with her mental health, giving him a first-hand look at the benefits of simply talking about these issues.

"I had a close family member who went through depression and anxiety – and she made it through it and she's all good now – but just being in close contact I saw how it affects not only the individual but everyone around them."

Tyler became an ambassador for R U OK after his family's experience, and has been promoting good mental health ever since.

"It was easy to connect with [R U OK] and try to make a change, make it more comfortable to talk about."

Growing up in Dubbo, Tyler has seen first-hand how Australians deal with hardship: "We've been slammed with some pretty hard years, with going through the drought and fires and now COVID, and that's why it's super important to stay connected and check-in and speak up if you don't feel like you're okay".

Despite the racing cars, when he's at home Tyler drives around in a 2018 Toyota HiLux: "I've always found that driving is sometimes the best therapy, but unfortunately we're stuck in a hard situation, so I guess just work on your cars and keep busy and active".

And staying physically active is a big part of it, Tyler says, as is keeping good eating habits. But chatting with those around you is just as important, especially as many Australians are stuck at home, doing their part to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus.

"Seek help if you feel like you're struggling, don't be afraid to speak up and speak your mind. Check in with your friends and family, ask them how they're going and start the conversation," Tyler said.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636, 24 hours a day, or you can chat with them online by going to their websites.

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