Until recent years, blokes were expected to be the pillar of mental strength in our society and admitting you felt less than was a blow to your masculinity. Fortunately, the tide has turned and having the courage to acknowledge your mental wellbeing, stand up and seek help has become one of the most commendable character strengths a man can muster.
Education, awareness, and support are changing the ‘suck it up’ mentality. Now, more than ever before, us blokes are taking our mental health into our own hands – determined to turn the dial on Australia’s mental health statistics. We are taking charge and doing everything we can to re-adjust some of the habits that impact our wellbeing.
Here’s why blokes are taking their mental health more seriously.
Because without rest, you can’t be your best
In times gone by, rest and relaxation were considered signs of laziness. If you weren’t out making a living, we were expected to be mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage and contributing to the household. Fortunately, these stereotypes are behind us, and the case for adequate rest and relaxation for mental wellbeing is well documented.
Aussies work more than most other developed countries, with 1 in 10 employees working over 50 hours per week. While work is essential to maintaining good mental health, it’s not so good when it doesn’t allow sufficient time to rest. As a result, many Australian men are still at high risk of burnout, a state of emotional and physical exhaustion that can lead to deeper mental health problems.
Finding your own personal balance is key.
Because relationships matter
Happy wife, happy life has been a societal joke; now, a strong relationship with your partner and children are seen as a priority. Strong family bonds are a key ingredient for mental wellbeing, and as a society, we now admire men who have respectful relationships with their families. After all, they’re juggling multiple roles and making it work.
Relationships outside of the family also matter. Whether going to the gym together, engaging in team sport, heading out to the pub to watch the footy or having a BBQ, time with mates is important. No longer are mates bottling up their wellbeing. Instead, we are checking in and making sure we have each other’s backs.
We now recognise that investing in relationships is one of the top five evidence-based steps to improving mental health. And while it’s not always easy or possible to reshuffle the day to get that beer with a mate – it’s worth trying because socialising can make us feel happier, more secure and gives a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Book in that BBQ.
Because we know what to do
It is now common knowledge that sleep, exercise and diet all play a role in our mental wellbeing. We’re working on getting our sleep cycles managed, getting to the gym, and swapping a pie for a salad – ok, maybe we’re adding the salad to the side of the pie – baby steps!
You only need to read the men’s health magazines to know what factors help and hinder our mental state. This education alone is enough to help us take our mental health seriously and take positive steps to proactively prevent mental decline.
Enjoy your time at the gym – good for your muscles, good for your mind.
Because there is hope
We used to think that if we felt blue, we had to suck it up. Now we know that prolonged feelings of sadness don’t have to last a lifetime and can be proactively managed.
Research now shows that men are just as good at seeking the help of a professional when needed. And recognising the signs and getting access to support early can make all the difference. Not only will it prevent the problem from getting bigger and more overwhelming, but it will also get you back to enjoying your usual way of life much sooner.
Going at it alone isn’t cool when there is help at hand.
Because we aren’t alone
According to the stats, one in two of us will have some form of mental health challenge at some point in our lives. That’s a lot of men who weren’t talking about their situations, so it is refreshing to see this is changing.
With so many of us having worked through our mental health challenges, we can now be more open and honest about them – knowing that our mates can empathise and are there to support and lift us up when times get tough.
Feel free to share; chances are we’ve been there too.
Help is at hand
If you are needing guidance, Trojan employees can access our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Contact your local branch for more information.
Further resources and support include
You Got This Mate
Life in Mind
On The Line
Beyond Blue for Men
If you need immediate assistance to support your mental health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. For emergency mental health support dial 000.
· We are getting better at managing our mental health and seeking professional help because there is more awareness, education and support, and less stigma.
· We know that adequate rest and relaxation is essential for our body and mind and doesn't make us lazy.
· We understand that relationships matter and are investing more time in our bonds with family and friends.
· We know to eat well, exercise and sleep because it helps us manage our wellbeing physically and mentally.
· We have learned there is hope, and we don't have to put up with feeling blue unnecessarily.
· We aren't alone - we're in this together, and help is at hand.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.