People often think that being healthy means having good physical health, forgetting a large part of being healthy means having good mental health and wellbeing also. Although they can be related with therapies like exercise leading to both a better physical and mental health, they both are managed and treated in different ways. It is important that we talk about mental health issues in men because often mental illness goes unidentified and untreated with research suggesting that only just over a quarter of men with a mental health condition seek help.
Why don’t men necessarily seek help?
Men and in particular, older men can have a tendency to deny or hide their issues, with a primary reason relating to ideas of ‘manhood’ that suggest that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings or express any vulnerabilities. These views are detrimental to mens health.
Almost half of the men in Australia have had a mental health problem at some point in time, with anxiety and depression being leading issues. Ageing can be a contributor to these conditions as when you age you may not be able to take part in all the activities that you could when you were younger, health problems such as heart disease and arthritis may arise.
There are more women then men diagnosed with certain mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, however, how men approach, experience and deal with mental health issues, can be in a different and often more destructive way. This is evident in that more men suffer from alcohol and drug abuse as well as men being three times more likely then women to ultimately take their own lives with 75% of the suicides in Australia in 2011 being men.
Men shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help. You are not alone in feelings, issues and conditions and they should not be ignored. Many mental health conditions can possibly be cured or controlled with they right therapy. If you feel yourself or even anyone around you could benefit from learning more, call one of these numbers for counselling, more guidance and information.
P: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service
P: 1300 659 467
P: 1300 22 4636
Counselling for men with relationship and family concerns.
P: 1300 78 99 78