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Men’s Health Week: A reminder that changes in the way you behave or feel can be a strong indicator of mental health challenges

16 Jun 2021
This Men’s Health Week, the National Mental Health Commission is encouraging all men to connect with their mental health, connect with and support other men in their community, and connect with professional mental health support if needed.

This Men’s Health Week, the National Mental Health Commission is encouraging all men to connect with their mental health, connect with and support other men in their community, and connect with professional mental health support if needed.

“This week is an important reminder for all men to reflect on the way they’ve been feeling. We often don’t recognise that some changes in our behaviour, or in the way we are feeling can be a strong indicator of mental health challenges,” Commission CEO Christine Morgan said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for so many men and has understandably caused a lot of distress and anxiety.

“When added to situational stressors such as loneliness and isolation from peers and family, loss of identity, loss of employment, financial distress, relationship breakdown and access to children, homelessness and/or housing stress, and alcohol and other drug problems, it can really take a toll on mental health.

“I encourage any man experiencing a crisis to reach out for confidential support. It’s OK not to feel OK.”

Confidential crisis support services available are:

  • MensLine Australia, a national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. MensLine can be contacted on 1300 78 99 78.
  • Lifeline, which is available to assist those who may be experiencing a crisis. Lifeline can be contacted on 13 11 14 at any time or through their online crisis chat service which is available seven days a week from 7pm to midnight (AEST/AEDT) at www.lifeline.org.au.
  • The Suicide Call Back Service, a nation-wide telephone support service and is available to anyone experiencing a crisis as well as their family and friends. The service can support callers through immediate counselling, and can also provide further telephone counselling sessions scheduled according to the caller’s needs. The Suicide Call Back Service operates seven days a week and can be contacted on 1300 659 467 or via its website at www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

Commission Chair, Lucy Brogden AM, encouraged men to protect their mental health with the same importance as they do their physical health, and work on both mental and psychological strength and health.

“It’s really important that men of all ages are aware of the signs of poor mental health and that it’s okay to stop and reach out for help,” Mrs Brogden said.

“Headaches, muscle aches, weight loss or gain, consistent feelings of anger, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, or burden, or losing interest in activities you would normally enjoy, can all be symptoms of poor mental health, and signs that we may need some support.

“There are steps we can put in place to help manage our wellbeing. Exercise, being careful with diet, managing a healthy sleep routine and talking through what’s concerning you with someone you trust – a good friend, a GP or clinician can all help keep you well.

“Connection is vital. Men’s Health Week is a timely reminder to men to check in on their own mental wellbeing, but also check in on their mates. Whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbour or someone in the community, reaching out and showing you care can make a big difference.”

National FREE 24/7 Crisis Services

Lifeline | 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service | 1300 659 467 | http://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/ 
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800 | http://www.kidshelp.com.au/ 
MensLine Australia | 1300 78 99 78 | http://www.mensline.org.au/
Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service | 1800 512 348