Men are notoriously good at keeping their personal problems bottled up. Sure, they’ll have brag about their footy skills, or complain about the boss, but when it comes to more serious issues like mental health, many believe the best cure is to ignore the problem.
This way of thinking will hopefully be turned around thanks to a new online initiative that is being entirely funded by the Federal government. “Man Therapy” has been developed by Beyond Blue in collaboration with several communication and suicide prevention agencies. Their goal is to encourage all men to take action against depression and anxiety in order to prevent high rates of suicide amongst men.
They believe there are 4 main methods that men can use to beat the stigma of mental health related illnesses:
Seek professional help – take the time to see a gp or clinical psychologist.
DIY Health – the website lists dozens of ways that men can take personal action. For example, adopting a dog, giving up smoking, taking up an extreme sport and simply working out.
Discussion Forum – prompting men to join an online discussion forum to find others suffering similar feelings.
Recreational pursuits – This encourages men to involve themselves and their family in a sporting group to keep the mind and body healthy.
The campaign has been receiving positive attention from media, and many top officials are praising its efforts to teach men how to recognise and combat mental illnesses. So take the advice of Man Therapy’s resident physician Brian Ironwood (not a real doctor), and “grab the bull by the balls”. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, contact BeyondBlue on 1800 22 26 38 or check them out online. If you are in southern Sydney, call Life & Mind on 02 9525 8443.