What’s the deal with men’s health, you ask?
Men’s health covers everything from your physical fitness to mental and emotional well-being. It’s all about staying in shape, preventing diseases, taking care of your sexual health, and overall, living your best life through mindset and daily habits.
So, why do we even have a whole week dedicated to men’s health?
Well, during International Men’s Health Week (June 12-18), we shine a light on helping guys think and discuss what to be done to improve male health. And let’s face it, men aren’t great at getting this looked at.
Don’t shoot the messenger here. The stats speak for itself.
How did we end up in this situation, you wonder?
The truth is, there are a ton of unhealthy stereotypes and expectations about what it means to be a man. You know, being tough, strong, and always ready to provide, no matter what. You’ve probably heard those phrases like “man up,” “toughen up,” “suck it up,” or “eat a tablespoon of concrete and toughen up.” Yeah, they reflect this very problem. Maybe you’ve even been on the receiving end of this so-called “advice” when you tried opening up to someone.
On the flip side, expressing emotions or talking about hardships is often seen as a sign of weakness or failure to live up to these standards. It creates a fear of being judged or feeling ashamed for simply going through tough times.
Because of all this, many men suffer in silence, never reaching out for help. Whether it’s from friends, family, or professionals, men are less likely to speak up about their struggles.
So, we can’t just brush it off and carry on like nothing’s wrong.
Why is this such a big problem, you ask?
From a mental health perspective, the harsh reality is 40% of men suffering from mental health issues won’t seek help and over 75% of suicides are committed by men.
And here’s another eye-opener: men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex are at an even higher risk of suicide, being four times more likely to have attempted it.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “I want to help. What can I do?”
Creating social change takes time, but even small changes can have a massive impact on ourselves and the people around us. Start by reaching out to your buddies and asking how they’re doing. Share your concerns if you notice anything off.
You might worry that bringing up self-harm or suicidal thoughts could make things worse, but that’s a myth. Talking about these topics openly is incredibly powerful and the first step toward getting help.
By genuinely listening and giving your full attention, you can make someone feel safe enough to open up and feel more optimistic about making positive changes.
If they do confide in you about their struggles, it’s important to encourage them to take action. Whether it’s doing something to improve their mood right away, like going for a walk or seeking professional help from crisis services like LifeLife, Beyond Blue, or Suicide Callback Service (insert hyperlinks here), every little step counts.
And here’s the key: follow up and keep checking in with them regularly on their action plan to feel better.
Remember, when you have the courage to speak up, you inspire and motivate others around you. It’s through moments of vulnerability and deep trust that we build closer relationships and break free from the constraints of these stereotypes.
Now, what about professional help?
At Mind Up, we are committed to breaking the stigma around men’s mental health, and providing a safe, non-judgmental environment for you to share in. We’re trained in working with many common difficulties that men are facing today, such as family and relationship difficulties, workplace and financial stress, anxiety and depression, suicidality, substance issues, loneliness and social isolation, anger management, trauma, and grief.
Only a call away.
Call us on 03 9327 2769 or reach out and let’s work together on getting you through tough times.