• Dr. Lillian Nejad

Men's Health Week 2019

Men's mental health is not something a couple of beers will solve.


It's Men's Health Week, a great time to focus on the mental health issues that affect men and to provide some tips on how to access support.


Let's start with some sobering stats:


At some time in their lives:

  • 1 in 8 men will experience Depression

  • 1 in 5 will experience Anxiety

  • 1 in 3 will experience Alcohol related problems

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44 in Australia; nearly doubling the national road toll.


More men than women die from suicide: In 2016, there were 2,269 suicide deaths, 1,720 of them were male.


So why don't men seek help?


Men will often only present if there are significant physical symptoms or if they are in crisis.


Common barriers to treatment include:

  • Lack of awareness or understanding of their own mental health issues

  • Lack of knowledge about how to access help

  • STIGMA—mental health problems seen as a sign of weakness, worries will rejected by friends, not okay to ask for help

  • Difficult to access appropriate support: waiting lists, financial barriers, location

Tips to overcome these barriers:

  • Find out more about mental health issues and how to recognise the symptoms. Beyond Blue is an excellent resource.

  • Start talking: Reach out to family or close friends, talk about your problems--big and small

  • Get back to basics: look after your physical health including your sleep, nutrition, and physical activity

  • Take advantage of wellbeing programs at work

  • Talk to your GP if you are concerned about your mental health. They can create a mental health plan that will give you access to a psychologist, with rebates from Medicare for up to 10 sessions per year.

  • View treating mental health issues as if they are physical health issues: They will improve with the right course of treatment; the earlier you seek treatment, the better; it may or may not require ongoing medication but it always involves talking to someone.

  • Access phone and online supports when in-person support is not available. Call 1300 22 4636 for Beyond Blue Support Services which include access to mental health professionals on the phone and online.

  • Have a plan for when you are in crisis in regard to who you call and what you do. If you are suicidal, call Emergency services (000), Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467)

  • To find a suitable psychologist in your area, you can go to the Australian Psychological Society website and click on FIND A PSYCHOLOGIST.

For more articles on mental health and wellbeing, go to www.ominpsych.com/blog and www.lifeblockers.com/blog-1

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