Men’s Mental Health

Men need to talk too!

Men talking to a counsellor is a strength and a sign they care about themselves and those around them. Men hurt, worry, stress, have relationship issues and social problems. Men are normal. Men talking about what is happening for them in their head is their way forward to being a more healthy and stronger person.

Men’s mental health is important in many ways. Good mental health gives an individual the skills and confidence to deal with everyday issues, provides a platform to help and support others and manage the ups and downs of life, just to name a few positives of having good mental health.

Many men were taught from a young age to ‘toughen up’ and not express their emotions. So, men don’t often know, recognise or understand their own emotions, how they manifest, are displayed or resolved.

As humans we all have emotions – it’s the brain (action) and bodies (reaction) way of dealing with what life is, such as fear, happiness, concern or love.

Did you know that 75% of all suicides in Australia are male? Last year alone there were over 3,000 suicides. A majority of these suicides were related to unresolved / untreated mental health issues. A man is more likely to suffer in silence until it all becomes too much and see suicide as the only way out of their mental pain.

Ladies: What can you do for the man in your life? Listen and listen some more. Don’t respond by telling them your troubles, what they’ve done wrong or what you expect of them. Notice when your man is distracted, acting oddly or even being hard to get along without real cause. Be patient, don’t get upset, don’t ignore, be kind and just listen. Tell your man, you love them and will help them anyway you can and then, follow through on your promise. If you don’t know how to help your man and are worried or just want some ideas on how to help, seek counselling support for yourself.

Men: What can you do for your mate, father, son or brother, work mate or brother-in-arms? Start a private conversation to ask if they are okay. It is as simple as saying “Are you okay mate?”

So how do we do this?

  1. If they say ‘they are fine’, tell them you notice something is not quite right and are worried about them.
  2. If they keep shrugging it off, tell them that you are there for them and if they need to chat, you’ll listen.
  3. When they start to talk, nod to acknowledge you are listening and understand and just keep listening.
  4. Respect their silences. The silences gives them time to think about what to say next.
  5. Don’t try to fix their problem for them but ask gentle questions like ‘is there anything you can do’, ‘anything I can do to help’, ‘do you need some support’, ‘do you need to talk to someone who really understands and can help you out’.
  6. Recommend a counsellor, or to call Men’s Helplines (a google search will help here).
  7. Thank them for sharing and promise them you will not say anything to anyone.

Suicidal ideation

If they have hinted at suicide, don’t be afraid to say outright ‘Are you thinking of suicide?’ and then listen without judgement.

If your mate tells you he is considering ‘ending it all’, ask if he has a plan. Sometimes just verbalising a suicide plan brings about the reality of what they are thinking or intending to do. Urge them to talk to someone.

If you have real concerns about your mate and he has just told you he’s got a plan and is going to end it, call Police. Police may conduct a Welfare Check.

If you are in your mate’s home or environment (car, work, camping), remove anything he may harm himself with (weapons, medications, objects, etc) and then wait for help to arrive.


What are some the things the pre-empts suicide in men?

  1. Military Service
  2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    1. Military
    2. Emergency Services
    3. Natural disaster victim
  3. Victim of Family Violence
  4. Being gaslighted by an intimate partner
  5. Divorce or relationship breakdown
  6. History of physical and sexual abuse
  7. Imprisonment
  8. Grief following the loss of a loved one
  9. Family history of mental health issues
  10. Financial stress
  11. Being bullied in the workplace, education settings or family environment


Phone: 0417 521 485

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