According to men’s health charity, Movember, over half of Australian men say no one has asked them how they are coping during COVID-19, and eight out of 10 Australian men find it helpful when people ask if they’re having a difficult time.
At the same time, men had not checked in with friends or family to find out how they were doing during the crisis, compared with only 16 per cent of women.
Starting a conversation with a friend, partner or colleague who might be struggling can be hard, especially if they are male.
During Men’s Health Week, Life in Mind spoke to Movember to learn more about the newly launched resource, Movember Conversations – a free, interactive tool designed to provide practical guidance on how to support men who might be struggling.
The online resource uses simulated conversations to explore and practise how to navigate a difficult conversation with someone you care about, covering scenarios including financial hardship and job loss, juggling work and family, and isolation and boredom.
According to Dr Zac Seidler, clinical psychologist and Movember Director of Mental Health Training we need to intervene early if we are to stop men slipping through the cracks.
“We need to make a radical shift in the way we understand and respond to men's mental health and suicidality, or we will continue to lose far too many of our fathers, partners, brothers, sons and friends. More work is needed intervening early, before we reach crisis point,” said Dr Zac Seidler.
“However, if we’re telling men to 'open up', we also need to be ready to act.
“There can no longer be a 'one size fits all’ approach, because we know each man has unique stressors.
“We can no longer expect men to adapt to a system that doesn't work for them – the focus of my work is to start to recognise people as individuals, and build interventions with men in mind.”
Learn more and try out the Movember Conversations tool via https://conversations.movember.com/
Life in Mind is focussing on male mental health and suicide prevention for the month of June. You can find a helpful collation of resources, programs, organisations and research that support men here.