Let's break down some barriers.
Mental health remains one of the most significant issues affecting health in our society today, with 1 in 7 Australians likely to experience depression at one point in their lives.
And while there has been some progress made in the way we discuss mental health, for some it's still considered to be a taboo subject. So it’s time to get rid of the stigmas and end the suffering in silence.
Let’s talk stigma
More and more people are having the conversation about mental health and expressing how we feel. But, it is still common for men, in particular, to experience feelings of shame and embarrassment when asking for help or expressing their emotions.
The gender cliche that men should always be “strong” and “tough” create an environment where men feel uneasy when talking about their struggles, making them hesitant to seek help. Evidence reveals that men are far less likely to talk about their struggles and seek help for their mental health than women. Approximately 7 men commit suicide every day in Australia. This statistic is frightening and proof that more needs to be done – so please talk to your mates about how you’re all feeling and never be ashamed to start the conversation.
Common mental health issues experienced by men?
- Stress and emotional pressures
- Depression: chronic sadness and hopelessness
- OCD: unwanted thoughts and fears causing repetitive actions.
- Anxiety: constant feelings of fear and worry
- Eating disorders: binge eating and bulimia
How do you know if someone you love needs your support?
Sometimes, it’s obvious for us to know when those we love are struggling, but more often than not it goes unseen. Here are some common signs that you can look out for.
- Retreating from all social interactions
- Acting out of character
- Skipping meals or significant weight fluctuations
- Use of drugs and alcohol to cope
- Panic attacks
- Anger, irritable or violent outbursts
- Lack of interest and inability to focus
Can your diet improve the way you feel?
Luckily it can! Ongoing research has revealed that dietary interventions have been proven to decrease depression and anxiety. Following the Australian Dietary Guidelines can be a great start! But, the overall message is to eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce foods high in sugar, salt, and fat. See our blog on mental health, gut health, and nutrition for more information on how nutrition can play a part in your mood.
What can you do to feel better?
- Get outside. Head out in nature, go for a walk, sit in the park, just get some fresh air.
- Get your body moving. Release those endorphins baby!
- Do something you love, whether that's reading a book, playing footy, painting, or whatever helps fill your cup.
- Have a chat. Call your mum, mates, partner, anyone, give yourself some human interaction!
- Relax your mind. Do some meditation, journaling, or gratitude work. You can get help with this fun stuff through some popular apps that we love!
(all available on the app store)
Remember talking about your feelings is never “un-manly” or “weak”, it happens to be the complete opposite. Bring up the conversation with your mates today and, who knows, you could save a life.
If you need more information and support on this topic, please reach out to some of the oganisations listed below.
- Beyond blue 1300 22 4636
- MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 79
- Lifeline 13 11 14