Men’s Mental Health
“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”
Men’s mental health continues to be an ever-growing topic of conversation in the media. In Australia, at 75%, statistically men are alarmingly over-represented in suicide deaths. When it comes to other mental health conditions, whilst marginally lower in statistics than women, these numbers are accepted as being underrepresented. Social and cultural norms about masculinity often deter men from seeking help, men are less likely to seek support than women. Statements by therapists in a report by the UK’s Men’s Health Forum articulate this issue:
- “When men book [counselling sessions], it’s because they are taking charge and solving problems. When women book, it’s because they want to discuss change.”
- “Men only tend to ask for help when the ship is sinking. I don’t think they take much action when it is rocky. They are happy to blank that out in the hope it will go away. Women will go and seek [help] before something disastrous happens whereas men tend to need to find a trigger.”
- “I think men see counselling as being a weakness . . . . women want a greater level of communication and understanding.”
When a boy falls over and scratches his knee, he’s told “it’s only a scratch” and to just get-up and carry-on. This norm carries on through adult life as men are unable to express their deep pains from the hurts of life nor seek help and support. This takes a huge toll on a man’s emotional, mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, it impacts their ability to be fully present in the family as husbands, fathers and sons. This leads to guilt, shame and dysfunctional behaviours to cope with the unexpressed pains of life.
I am passionate about not leaving men to deal with the struggles of life and to see getting support as a sign of strength and not weakness. I am driven by supporting and improving the mental health of my fellow men through psychotherapy and counselling. I have a deep insight into the challenges men face both as a participant and facilitator of men’s groups focused on providing a safe space for men to be vulnerable and provide support for their mental health.
I endeavour to support men in finding their unique power from within to guide them to find solutions to their issues and live a purposeful, authentic and fulfilled life.
As a man, you may be able to relate to one or more of the following which is impacting you emotional, mental and physical well-being:
- Career pressures – Men often bury themselves in their work to avoid all other issues surrounding them
- Losing employment – Men often have a lot of pride in their work and can be devastated when a job is lost
- Relationship and intimacy issues – It can be very hard for men to outwardly express their feelings, which can cause relationship and intimacy issues
- Dealing with grief and loss – Men often bury feelings of grief and loss causing issues which may have been built up over long periods of time.
- Self-image and self-esteem – Men outwardly take criticism “on the chin” while inside this may be affecting the way they think about themselves.
- Workload, stress and general exhaustion with life – At times in a man’s life it can feel like he has to deal with the workload and stress 7 days a week from the moment he wakes up until the time goes to sleep.
- Parenting challenges – Parenting, for many men, is challenging. For example, lack of parenting skills and absence as a parent due to excessive work commitments.
- Loneliness – Some men find it very difficult to be able to connect with others.
- Addictions – Men will often turn to substance abuse, porn or other addictions to numb emotions and better cope with life challenges.
- Ageing and health – With the onset of ageing and health issues, men find it difficult to navigate and reconcile these changes with the traditional norms of masculinity.
- Struggling to fit into stereotypical masculine norms – Even though society is slowly changing, there are masculinity “norms” which many men struggle to fit into, impacting their mental well-being.
If you relate to any of these, I can provide a safe therapeutic space to unravel your issues, assess them and increase your self-awareness.
Where am I?
I am located in the Sydney CBD area for in-person sessions or via Skype if that’s more convenient for you.