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Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

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Its November, also known as Movember! The Movember Foundation do a lot of work for both men's physical and mental health and this month we'll be having a chat about the mental health aspect, and how in our each our lives we can all do something to stop men dying too young. The Movember Foundation has lots of ways you can make a difference including growing a moustache or getting more phsycially active but here on the forums we'll start the conversation.

 

 

 

Did you know.... 

 

On average 6 men each day take their life through suicide in Australia...

 

1 in 8 Australia men will experience depression in their life time. 

 

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It's time for us to have a conversation that really truly matters, we as a society cannot afford to wait for the right time - because the right time is now. 

 

 

 

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

It's time for our first question!

 

Why may people, particularly young men, be reluctant to seek help for a mental health issue? 

 

 

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

This is awesome @j95! I'm tempted to draw on a moustache for this month Smiley Tongue

Why may people, particularly young men, be reluctant to seek help for a mental health issue?
Stigma and stereotypes is a big reason. Young men are told that they have to be tough and not cry and all those kinds of things. So when they do struggle, it's all internal and there is extra pressure on them not to show it.
What do you think @j95?
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

Why may people, particularly young men, be reluctant to seek help for a mental health issue? 

 

Great answer @N1ghtW1ng

It comes down to the negative stigma attached to men having emotions, and how showing your feelings and being emotional means you are weak and not able to hold the responsiblites typically asked of a man like be the strong one, protect others, hold the family together. 

This brings shame and embarrassment for  the person, they may worry people will find out they are seeking help for a mental health issue.

This has changed for me over the last couple of years but I used to say something like....

"I don't need to see anybody, thats for people who aren't strong enough to cope on their own"

now I say

"Seeking help and speaking up to take control actually shows more strength than sitting in silence" or something. 

 

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

I completely agree with both of your answers and actually think it's sad that society has made it so difficult for people to speak out.
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

Question 2!! 

 

What are some of the pressures and expectations faced by young men and what impact do they have on mental health?

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

What are some of the pressures and expectations faced by young men and what impact do they have on mental health?

 

Good question @j95!

 

There are heaps.

 

Body image: most guys i know feel like they have to look a certain way to be considered attractive to the people they are attracted to.

 

Communication: It seems like for some (not all) groups of guys that i run into, it can be considered weird to get too deep into anything emotional, and expressing nice stuff to people feels weird. Like you can't just say "you nailed that thing you did at work today, nice one" instead you'd probably say, "nice one mate, you finally didn't stuff that thing up at work".... I don't  think that's a very good example lol.. but basically there is some expectation in our culture that you're a jerk even when you're actually impressed with your mates.

 

Booze: I think again there's a fair bit of pressure around drinking and that being something that's a part of pretty much any activity. I know with a lot of my friends pretty much everything involves having a few beers at some stage...

 

I think all of this kind of "squishes" the space you have to be you and say things the way you want to say them... and then the alcohol is just kind of not great mostly because it's always there and that just seems weird to me....

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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

I love your answer @Ben-RO What you said was pretty spot on but I'm going to answer anyway!

Pressures and expectations...

Not only is it being tough on the inside that you have to somehow pull off, it's tough on the outside, you have to look the part. I go to the gym to keep fit and work towards my goals in sport but not to necessarily look buff. Its hard not to get caught up in that though, it's like a competition almost. I feel like this is something people don't see, they don't see that guys can have body image issues as well.

That speaking about things just isn't on, if you've got an issue you need to sort it out yourself because nobody needs to hear it and you'll get over it.

I feel like people can't really be themselves when there is constant expectation on them to act a certain way. People always say that everyone is the same... of course they are when society keeps saying that different is weird.
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

Time for Question 3!!

Has there been a time you have support a mate through something tough? How did you let them know it was ok to talk about it?
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//
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Re: Let's have an important chat - Movember 2016

Has there been a time you have support a mate through something tough? How did you let them know it was ok to talk about it?

I haven't done much in-person. When I knew my brother was dealing with something tough I would just try to chat with him about something that could make him feel better or something funny to make him laugh. I could've done more to actually be supportive but didn't know how.

 

Online with my bf I've had a bit more practice. Obviously the partner relationship is a different dynamic, but when I first met him before we got into a relationship when he mentioned something tough, I'd just try to listen to the bits he wanted to share. I'd ask if he wanted to talk more about it, validate what he was feeling, and ask if there was something I could do to help (like does he want suggestions for fixing things, or just want someone to hear him out, or want help being distracted...).

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