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Encouraging mens mental health conversations

It can be hard for men to open up and talk about how they are feeling. And this can have serious impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.

In fact research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that men are three times more likely to die by suicide and twice as likely to have a substance abuse disorder.

So how can men reduce this gap and improve their mental health?

Hugh Martin, founder of counselling service Man Enough, says the first step is to encourage conversations within organisations – such as sporting clubs, groups and workplaces – making space available for men to talk about how they’re going.

‘You want men to start to look out for one another. If I was in a bad way I would love it if someone could reach out tap me on the shoulder and say “Hey do you want to go and have a chat?” ’, says Hugh.

‘It comes back to that 360-degree model of leadership, we’re all leaders, we’re all managers of our own responsibility and of ensuring that as an organisation we value welfare and making sure we live it.’

Counsellor and Team Leader at Mensline, Glen Benton, says that men need to change the way they talk about their own mental health.

‘Often the way men cover things up is with subtle language,’ Glen says.

‘When men speak about themselves, they tend to speak in the third-person. Rather than saying “I feel afraid… I feel over worked”, men will say “Well you know… you go to work everyday…and you just want to be left alone…“.’

Glen says this is typically how men speak about what they are feeling – depersonalising the language to depersonalise the emotions. He believes that if men allow themselves to be vulnerable it will change everything.

If you feel overwhelmed and need to talk please call:

How do we know if someone is experiencing mental health problems? read it here




  1. Peter says:

    After 27 years of a marriage, 4 children (all grown up now), I divorced the ex-wife 8 years ago. I recently applied for a WWCC in NSW and was turned down when they discovered that my ex wife had reported me to FACS in 1997. Even though it was proven (no court proceedings or charges) by a report that I was innocent, FACS don’t see it that way and will retain my name on file as a “person associated with risk” for the rest of my life. I am now in an absolutely wonderful relationship with my wife of nearly 4 years, and friend of 9 years. I need a suggestion on how to relieve the pain and hurtful feelings I have and can I erase the ex wife from my thoughts. Thank you for reading /listening