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Prioritising men's mental health

In recognition of Men’s Health Week, ACAP’s Dr Lynlee Howard-Payne has written the following blog post highlighting the state of men’s mental health in Australia and points to where men can seek help.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019) highlights how men have poorer mental health outcomes compared to other groups. This is especially true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, refugees and asylum seekers, incarcerated men (or those recently released from prison), trans men, and men from lower socioeconomic statuses in Australia. This is evidenced by the high rates of death by intentional self-harm for men.

The focus of Men's Health Week, 14-20 June 2021, is to

  1. better understand the psychosocial and cultural environments that impact men’s mental health and
  2. develop environments that promote healthier outcomes for this population.
Encouraging help-seeking behaviours

To contribute to this important endeavour, we must bring awareness to and destigmatize men’s mental health by encouraging help-seeking behaviours for men who are experiencing:

  1. relationship or family difficulties
  2. financial strain
  3. social isolation
  4. unmanageable work-related demands
  5. substance use issues and/or
  6. medical/physical conditions.

These challenges are that much more present during the global COVID-19 pandemic where uncertainty and instability may exacerbate pre-existing concerns.

If you, or any men you know, are experiencing any of these challenges and are feeling lonely, disconnected from people, misunderstood, distressed, overwhelmed, angry, depressed, and/or anxious, it is time to reach out.

Who to talk to?

Chat to a trusted friend, family member, or professional if necessary, and arm yourself with as much information as possible – there are plenty of myths and misconceptions out there, so be sure to rely on reputable sources such as:

-        Australian Men’s Health Forum

-        Australian Men’s Shed Association

-        Healthy Male

-        MensLine

Prioritising mental health

Prioritise your mental wellness this Men’s Health Week by also committing to other healthy practices like connecting with loved ones, getting enough quality sleep, exercising, eating healthily, participating meaningfully in your community, going for an annual medical/dental check-up, and relaxing with some fun leisure activities.

You can play a key role in celebrating Men’s Health Week 2021 by being proactive and championing help-seeking behaviour for men in Australia.

More information

 - ACAP students have access to our free and confidential counselling support service. Our team of professional counsellors are here to support you in reaching your full personal and academic potential. Find out more here

-The ACAP Psychology Clinic offers a range of face-to-face group therapy options in Sydney CBD, available for people of all ages at a low cost. We focus on delivering safe, affordable and evidence-based services to our clients in a supportive environment. Find out more here

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.