In Australia 50 per cent of all men will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Three out of every four suicides are blokes, and if you are a man living in a regional area, your chances of experiencing a mental illness are 1.5 times greater than for men in the city. In this episode we discuss what men can do to look after themselves when they feel like they might not be coping and ways they can get help.
Sholto Douglas: My story started in the year 2000. It was May 28th, (my eldest twins’ 13th birthday) and we were going into Mildura to celebrate. I didn’t want to go and really couldn’t be bothered getting out of bed but at the time, I didn’t think anything was wrong with that.
A few weeks later I was playing tennis (as I did for the season) with a mate of mine. During a break, he approached me and asked if I was alright and my response was “I am fine”. No, you’re not, he said to me, come to my place for tea and we will have a chat. I went to his place and it was pointed out to me by my friend that he had seen some dramatic changes and that he thought I had depression. He suggested that I make an appointment to see my doctor. I saw my doctor and was diagnosed with depression. I was on medication for about 12 months and all seemed good again.
I now organise a cricket match that promotes awareness about men’s mental health.
Steve Carrigg is a registered nurse with 29 years clinical experience in acute mental health services. He has extensive experience in community mental health teams in rural and remote parts of Australia and has previously worked in the Kimberley and Northern Territory regions for 13 years. Steve has also completed formal training in forensic mental health nursing and previously worked in the specialised field. Steve has a passion for youth and Aboriginal mental health and currently works for Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) in the Northern NSW Local Health District.
Samantha Fredericks, Head of Business Strategy and Innovation, On The Line
Samantha is an experienced consultant and senior executive with over 28 years of commercial experience, and a track record in strategy development and implementation, and business growth management. She has guided change and achieved growth in many organisations across a range of industry sectors — blue-chip corporates such as Shell, Ford, Woolmark, Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent, government bodies, entrepreneurial ventures, small-medium organisations and start-ups – helping them devise and implement strategies to drive revenue, market share and growth.
Samantha holds Bachelor degrees in Science, Arts and Psychology; an MBA; and Honours level degrees in Organic Chemistry and Psychology. She is currently completing a Masters in Psychology and is a registered Psychologist (Provisional).
Men’s Mental Health
MensLine Australia is the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. The service is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues.
MensLine Australia provides:
- A safe and private place to talk about concerns
- Confidential, anonymous and non-judgmental support
- Coaching and practical strategies for managing personal relationship concerns
- Relevant information and links to other appropriate services and programs as required
- Callers have access to 24-hour support – anywhere, anytime.
Movember The charity tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Here to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Beyondblue: Aims to equip everyone in Australia with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health. Beyondblue provides people with the confidence to support those around them and makes anxiety, depression and suicide part of everyday conversations.
And as well as tackling stigma, prejudice and discrimination, beyondblue breaks down the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out.
They have specific information on men’s mental health
Dadvice: A beyondblue project to help new dads cope with the experience of being a new parent
Mates in construction provide Mental Health help and support for people in the construction industry, specifically around suicide prevention. The MATES in Construction program is based on the simple idea that “suicide is everyone’s business” and that if the building and construction industry in Australia is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers and to reduce suicide, then it cannot be left to the mental health professionals, but rather everyone in the industry must play their part.
You Got This Mate is an initiative of RAMHP, providing tips and info to help rural men reach their best possible mental health.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.
If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s mental health, you can call the NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 for advice.
Having a tough time and need someone to talk to right now? The following services are here to help. They are confidential and available 24/7.
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Men’s Line Australia– 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Help Line – counselling and support provided for young people (to 24 years old) who are feeling depressed, sad, or lonely – or just need someone to talk to – 1800 55 1800
- Domestic Violence Line – 1800 656 463
- Suicide Call Back Service– 1300 659 467