Why is it so difficult for men to ask for help when it comes to their health?
It’s known as the quiet crisis. Men not asking for help when needed, or talking to someone when they could really benefit from advice or a different perspective. Did you know that only 12% of adolescent boys and 35% of male adults with life’s challenges actually seek help? (psychology.org.au) Sometimes these problems are often masked by other behaviours such as aggression, alcohol or drug abuse, gambling, or internet addictions. Mens health is equally as important as any other person’s health.
The question is, how do to you recognise when you or someone close to you needs help; and how can you get the support required?
Many men and young male adults that need help are ones who don’t visit a GP, and tend to not have a strong social network or family support around them. The consequences of someone not seeking the help they need, can lead to further harm within the family, and to themselves. The suicide rate and rate of self-inflicted injuries is increasing in Australian men each year, showing that there is a need for greater awareness around men’s mental health.
Men we come across report that they are not comfortable with going to see a GP or a Psychologist to talk about their issues, their feelings, or to ask for help. When considering this they describe:
- Feelings of inadequacy – They fear appearing weak, and therefore brush their thoughts and feelings under the rug. Culturally men have learnt that by dismissing their need for help, they present themselves as ‘stronger’ or more ‘masculine’;
- Limited insight or awareness – “Its not that bad”, “I can’t see why they’re so upset about what I am doing!”;
- Hopelessness – “Nothing will help me”;
- Practical barriers – “I’m too busy with work”;
- Some services not being welcoming for them or being ‘male friendly’, for instance only offering a young female therapist, therefore intimidating men from taking that first step.
Here at Creating Change we understand the differing needs of men in a therapeutic situation and have a wealth of experience in working alongside men to better manage their challenges. We can offer the choice of male or female Clinical Psychologists in a variety of age brackets so they can decide what works best for them and feel in control. Gary Wong is our onsite Male Psychologist who works with mens issues.
If you or a man in your life is struggling with mood, worry, relating or maintaining their health, contact us at Creating Change for more information. Let us know how we can help you improve your quality of life or that of the men in your life.
Written By – Rebecca Deane (Senior Clinical Psychologist) – www.creatingchange.net.au