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Men's Mental Health Matters

Men’s Health Week (13-19 June) is about promoting boys’ and men’s health and wellbeing in Australia and internationally’.  Guest blogger Franceska Jordan, Director AM at The Golda Institute brings awareness to men’s mental health.

Some of the conditioning around men’s behaviour is that men don’t share and talk about what bothers them, especially if they are feeling depressed, anxious or have other concerns. In Australia, on average, 1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.

While women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, men are less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their depression or anxiety going unrecognised and untreated. Depression is a high risk factor for suicide and, in Australia, 75% per cent are by men. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54, significantly exceeding the national road toll.

It’s important to remember that depression and anxiety are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available. Taking action may not be as hard as you think (Beyond Blue).

Fortunately this is changing and more men are starting to talk about being depressed, anxious, having relationship and work difficulties. When men talk aloud about their concerns and they are able to express and release their pent up emotions and move to changing and replacing unhelpful and negative thoughts, changes occur in their brain. Talk therapy isn’t self-indulgent chatter or a placebo. It works, especially if the patient is in the hands of a skilled and compassionate therapist. Studies show that people with personality disorders (a classification that covers many of the most common mental health problems) recover seven times faster with the help of therapy than they would without treatment.  Therapy is particularly effective against anxiety disorders, social phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder, though medication is critical for treating other mental health conditions, such as panic disorder and schizophrenia. Research suggests that talk therapy even causes changes in brain function and can be similar to those produced by medication. “The ideal treatment in most cases is a combination of medication and therapy,” says Kenneth Robbins, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Help is available through Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and through your Doctor who can refer you to a therapist. Rebates are now available through Medicare for accredited mental health practitioners. Seek help, you matter!

Franceska Jordan AM

Accredited Mental Health Practitioner

Director The Golda Institute

20/261 Given Tce Level 1 Paddington

Ph- 32898384 and Mobile 0429 055 088

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