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Jimmy Barnes Is On A Mission And Wants To Get Men Talking

In his first memoir, Working Class Boy, Jimmy Barnes sparked a nationwide discussion about domestic abuse and its affect on children.

As he releases his second memoir, less than two years later, his new mission is to get men to open up and start talking about their problems.

"It's opened up this conversation that has to be had. In the last book we started talking about domestic violence and helped some people approach and talk about that. I think this book is going to talk about being a man," Barnes told AAP.

The second memoir, Working Class Man, picks up where the first book left off, as 16-year-old Barnes and his Cold Chisel bandmates begin their journey to becoming rockstars.

There are immense highs and lows as Barnes colours in the gaps of what it was like to be in Chisel at the height of their fame, but this is also a story of redemption.

In the harrowing prologue, Barnes writes about his failed suicide attempt in 2012 in a hotel room in Auckland.

Ultimately, the reader knows Barnes lives, so what's left is one man's handbook on surviving drug and alcohol addiction, and childhood abuse.

"I got to the point where I was drinking like a fish, I was snorting cocaine and ketamine and ecstasy, and taking sleeping tablets; something to pick you up and something to throw you down, and eventually that chemistry and everything I was going through led me to do that, and the only reason I didn't die was probably because I didn't do it properly," he told AAP.

"Maybe I was too out of it?"

Barnes was running from his past. He hid his fear with his bravado while using his addiction to mask his pain.

"I was actually really scared most of my life and I didn't want to talk to anybody about anything that was remotely personal and men tend to do that," he said.

"So I hope this will start that conversation this time and maybe help some blokes get some stuff off their chest and start to grow a bit."

Having been there, and faced that rock bottom moment, the singer realised he had been trying to kill himself for about 50 years with drugs, alcohol and even his moments of aggression.

Barnes has used therapy and counselling to get help, and writing the books has gone some way towards exorcising his demons.

Now he hopes other men will follow his lead and start talking about their problems before they ruin their lives.

"I think they say seven men a week in this country die of suicide and a lot of men don't realise that they're getting to that point ... they don't talk because they don't ask for help, because they don't even realise that they're getting there."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

Multicultural Mental Health Australia www.mmha.org.au.

Local Aboriginal Medical Service details available from www.bettertoknow.org.au/AMS

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

AAP

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