Mental health has been front of mind for many in the past few years, with people increasingly opening up about their struggles in this space, helping to break down barriers that Australians have lived with for many years.
However, despite so many hurdles being overcome, plenty of challenges remain, specifically within males and the transparency of their mental health problems.
While we celebrate the changes and progress, for frontline workers who can best assist and advise those going through difficult times, it’s always best to be refreshed with updated information and resources.
Fast facts on mental health1
- More than 45 per cent of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced a mental illness.
- 65 per cent of people who are experiencing mental health struggles don’t take serious steps, such as seeing a professional.
- Men are less likely to take serious steps to access mental health services than women.
- Men account for only 40 per cent of users of Medicare-subsidised mental health services in Australia.
- The number of suicide deaths in males is three times higher than in females.
- Men are more likely to die due to alcohol and drug use than women are.
Common influencing factors2
Some common men’s mental health issues include:
Loneliness. A general increase in loneliness was observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a Swinburne University study reporting that one in two surveyed Australians had felt lonelier since the pandemic began. Loneliness can make people feel as if they have no meaningful relationships, and cause a great deal of depression and sadness.
Stress. This mostly occurs when an imbalance arises between what’s being asked of us and our ability to deliver or cope with the demand, which can cause a great deal of discomfort. It can be triggered by various circumstances, such as those involving relationships, social problems and financial worries.
Depression. This can be classed as a persistent feeling of sadness and a loss of interest in everyday activities that one would usually be excited about. Depression plays a huge part in preventing people from undertaking activities and pursuits that they usually enjoy most.
Anxiety. According to MensLine Australia, anxiety is one of the most common men’s mental health issues, with one in five Aussie men experiencing it at some stage in their lives. Anxiety can present a great challenge when it’s consistent and doesn’t seem to digress.
Men’s mental health resources
The site provides specific advice for different aspects that can affect mental health, such as ‘relationships’, ‘dads and fathers’, ‘family violence’ and an overall ‘men’s mental health’ section. It also offers support in the form of details of health professionals and phone and online counselling options.
BeyondBlue not only allows people the opportunity to support others going through mental health struggles but also provides links for a mental health coach or counsellor. The foundation also provides support forums with open mental health discussions.
A mental health foundation that also links people to daily tips and advice for managing mental health as well as providing links to professional help, such as via GPs and psychologists, and phone or online support.
If you or someone you know need help, please contact:
- BeyondBlue 1300 22 46 36.
- Lifeline Australia 13 11 14.
- MensLine Australia. ‘Changing how we talk about men’s mental health’. mensline.org.au/mens-mental-health/changing-how-we-talk-about-mens-mental-health/
- MensLine Australia. ‘Men’s mental health: common challenges’. mensline.org.au/mens-mental-health/mens-mental-health-common-challenges/
- ‘Men’. beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/men
- You got this mate. ‘Take action’. yougotthismate.com.au/take-action/professional-support/
This feature was originally published in the June issue of Retail Pharmacy Assistants e-magazine.