We have asked Mindcare Mental Health Services provisional psychologist Peter what are some of the key issues that men are seeking support for and what is some advice for men that are looking for help.
Q1. What are some of the most common reasons you find men are seek mental health supports?
Men mostly need someone else to talk to. Unfortunately, traditionally, it has not been ‘normal’ in Australian society for men to be able to talk when they need to about the subjects they want to. Luckily, increased awareness of men’s mental health issues, such as through MATES in Construction (MATES), is changing this. The men I see generally just want to be heard and be able to talk in a safe environment about the issues they want to. These issues can include, for example, dealing with past trauma, feelings of depression, stress, or anxiety, feeling like a ‘grumpy old bloke’, decreased sexual performance, sobriety or addiction, relationship struggles, or relief from being the ‘strong resilient’ male. There is no right or wrong issue.
Q2. When and how should you ask for help?
Ask for help when you think need it. You know you best. Ideally, if you can, ask for help before you need it! Listen to the voice in your head that might be telling you that everything is not OK. Listen, trying not to be defensive, if family members or mates are saying you do not seem yourself. If you need help, reach out to loved ones and friends, see if your workplace has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that covers mental health, speak to your GP who may refer you to a psychologist, speak to helplines such as Mensline (1300 789 978) or Lifeline (131 114) or Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), or find a local men’s group and go along to a session. The important thing is to seek help if you think you need it.
Q3. What are some coping strategies you could recommend?
There are two types of coping strategies- negative and positive. Negative strategies can include self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, self-harm, repression, minimizing, violence towards others, or becoming a workaholic etc. You may feel you are using a strategy to ‘cope’ with your mental health issues but the strategy being used might be just as bad or even worse! Positive strategies could include seeking support from others, mindfulness or meditation, writing a journal, spending time with family or friends, setting goals and following a routine, starting a new hobby, or playing team sports. Try and identify, before you need them, positive strategies you can use to self-sooth, such as positive self-talk, and you can do on your own if necessary, such as going for a run. Identify people who can support you such as key family members or close mates. Identify professionals who can support you such as your GP or a psychologist. If feelings of suicide occur, especially if they include thoughts or method or planning, seek emergency help such as by calling 000 or visiting your nearest hospital emergency department.
Men’s Groups on the Sunshine Coast:
- The Men’s Shed (Buderim, Maroochydore, Caloundra, Coolum, Noosa)
- Grab Life By The Balls
- Average Joes
- Conscious Men’s Brotherhood
- Men’s Wellbeing
- Centre for Men
- Insight Men’s Circle
At Mindcare Mental Health Services, we provide counselling and therapy to people who are feeling overwrought. We can help you through these challenging times. Our mental health services are free under the Stepped Care program so just call us to get started. Mindcare psychologists are located in Maroochydore, Kawana, and Baringa. We also offer telehealth to your home.
Contact us on 1300 632 647 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Peter is a provisional psychology from Mindcare Mental Health Services. To find out more about Peter in his bio and his specialties click the link below: