If you or anyone you know needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, MensLine on 1300 78 99 78 or Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800

How does Mental Health look for men?

Depression affects one out of every eight males, whereas anxiety, Australia’s most frequent mental health problem, affects one out of every five men.

“Depression and anxiety are health problems just like any other health problems,” explains Beyond Blue’s policy, research and evaluation team. “If you’re affected by these conditions, and they’re affecting your life, it’s important to get help. There are solutions and there are treatments that work.” Sound easier said than done? You’re not alone in thinking that. “The numbers of men who seek help for these conditions are quite low,” the Beyond Blue team says, adding many men aren’t sure asking for help will be helpful. “Men need to learn more about depression and anxiety, and the treatment options available to them. You can take control and take action.”

Men and women may experience mental health problems in different ways, resulting in mental health issues being overlooked and untreated. Men may underestimate or misunderstand their own emotional suffering, causing it to build up in ways that can lead to physical health problems. Men are more prone than women to externalise emotional discomfort or a mental health issue by displaying aggression or engaging in high-risk behaviours. Men may be accused of “acting out” rather than receiving mental health care and assistance as a result of this.

Men may be more hesitant to seek mental health care because of the stigma associated with asking for help. When men are victims of relationship violence or sexual assault, they may be fearful of being disregarded, having their experience minimised, or being embarrassed for what happened to them.

Men have reported thinking these questions when dealing with mental health issues – let us answer them:

  • What will others think?
    Men are concerned that if they disclose having difficulties, everyone around them will think less of them. Mental health beliefs have shifted substantially in the last decade. Most people now realise that these are health issues that can and do affect everyone. According to research, the greatest stigma you’re likely to confront is one you create for yourself. You’re likely to be supportive of friends, family members, or co-workers in a similar circumstance, but you may be especially harsh on yourself. So, does having a mental health problem make you weak, unmanly, or incapable? That’s not true! Arm yourself with accurate information.
  • Will I lose control?
    You have the option of telling whom you want. You can use a hotline or online resources to stay anonymous. You could also tell your closest friends and family, giving them the opportunity to keep an eye out for you and assist you. You have power over who you tell about your problems and when you tell them. When it comes to dealing with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, there are numerous solutions.

Read mental health blogs here to increase awareness and equip yourself with healthy strategies to counter negative emotions. The first step would be to reach out to a mental health counsellor OR visit your GP to explore options.

We at Halcyon Counselling can help you do just that! Reach out and speak to one of our registered counsellors.

Meanwhile..What can you do?

  • Look out for your mates

Almost half of our population will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives, so it’s possible that some of the people you care about will require your assistance. ‘ARE YOU OK?’ is a good way to start a conversation with your buddies. To start the conversation, it’s generally helpful to disclose more details about yourself with them.

  • Educate yourself

Do you understand the signs and symptoms of depression/anxiety or other mental health issues? Do you have any idea if how you’re feeling is typical or if things could be different? What to do if someone you know appears to be having difficulties? Knowing the answers to those questions will come from learning more about mental health. Read mental health blogs/articles and/or reach out to professionals.

What can counsellors do to help?

Men have been found to be less likely than women to adhere to treatment suggestions. However, this behaviour does not always indicate treatment resistance. The stereotype that “real men solve their own problems” may lead men to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Men may be more defensive when discussing feelings, relationships, and other personal issues in therapy, which demands open and honest conversation about feelings, relationships, and other personal matters.

Men in treatment may be more inclined to discuss their difficulties if counsellors and other mental health professionals normalise the reluctance to share personal thoughts and any defensive tendencies, as well as dispel preconceptions about “typical male conduct.” This may improve their chances of experiencing progress in counselling. Counsellors can often assist men in exploring areas of “typical male behaviour” that society has neglected or encouraged, allowing them to become more successful in addressing feelings, meeting needs, and achieving goals.

Halcyon Counselling Clinic has registered counsellors who can help you feel yourself again. Click here to book a session!

  • Lifeline; for a personal crisis – 13 11 14
  • Suicide call back service (if you’re thinking about suicide) – 1300 659 467
  • Mensline Australia – 1300 78 99 78
  • Dads in Distress; online support for separated fathers
  • SANE Australia; support for people living with mental illness – 1800 18 7263.
  • 1800 Respect; DV counselling for men – 1800 737 732
  • QLife; support for same sex couples – 1800 184 527
  • Beyondblue – 24/7 phone support– 1300 22 4636

Source: GoodTherapy & MetLife