Tim Grayburn thought his relationship with Bryony Kimmings was over when she found his prescription pills for severe clinical depression soon after she moved in with him in 2013. The account manager had told no one about his depression in the seven years since he was diagnosed at aged 23.

“It was a bit of shock to me because it was like discovering my big secret,” recalls the London account manager. “I thought that’s it, she’ll leave me because I’m mentally unable to deal with anything.”

Instead, the award-winning performance artist persuaded her fiancée to lay bare his struggle in the heart-warming, sad and sometimes-funny love story, "Fake It Til You Make It," which they are performing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and later at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

“It’s showing some truths that no one’s prepared to talk about,” Grayburn says. Figures by men’s advocacy group Movember Foundation show 48.1 percent of Australian men will have a mental health problem in their lifetime and suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15 to 44. Grayburn and Kimmings hope their show will get men talking about mental illness.

“There’s a really high suicide rate in Australia and everyone knows that Aussie blokes are proper blokes, but the stats show that they have the same problems,” Grayburn says. “I went to the doctors when it got to breaking point and I was considering suicide. They gave me some medication and I kept it secret. I was ashamed of it because I’d never heard anyone talking about it.”

Movember Foundation has called for more to be done to remove the stigma of men discussing mental illness and believes that by applying a male lens on men’s mental health issues, men can be better supported in seeking help and treatment earlier. The Melbourne-founded group, which raises men’s health awareness every November by encouraging men to grow moustaches, has launched the largest ever non-government investment in men’s mental health in Australia, allocating $22.3 million to fund programs to help change the face of men’s health.

Co-founder Justin "JC" Coghlan warns the next generation of boys is at risk unless men can feel empowered to take control of their mental wellbeing, as Grayburn has.

“Unless we work to change the current status quo, men with a mental health problem will continue to access services far less frequently than women,” Coghlan told International Business Times. “And men will continue to make up approximately two out of every four people that take their own life globally. In total that is 510,000 men per year – that’s one every minute.”

"Fake It ’Til You Make It" is at the Adelaide Fringe until March 15. Then, the show will be at Theatre Works, Melbourne, from March 18 to April 5.