After 6 years of private practice I recently had a day completely booked with male only clients. What a refreshing and awe-inspiring experiencing to see men finally coming out of the wood work and seeking support for their mental health issues.
One in four people experience a mental illness such as depression or anxiety throughout their lifespan and this statistic applies to men just as much as women. Mental health issues do not discriminate.
Therefore it only stands to reason that a lot of men out there are currently struggling with emotional distress or hardship but are doing it ALONE. Men also suffer through stressful life events such as divorce, loss of their children, workplace stress or bullying, unemployment, pain, grief and loss etc.
Too long has the culture of men been to ‘harden up’ or ‘just shut up and deal with it’. It’s not that simple and it’s definitely not that easy.
Often, without anyone to talk too or to support them through it, the coping strategies employed by men can end up being substance abuse, gambling, violence, isolation, or a number of other negative behaviour choices.
So it was definitely refreshing and awe-inspiring to finally see a range of men of differing ages and life experiences, but battling similar demons, attend sessions and gain some psychological support.
I encourage the men of our city to continue to make the brave step of reaching out and gaining some tips and strategies to help you out. It’s not weak – it’s just smart!
Written by Kylie Hobbs, Principal Psychologist, ASSIST Psychological & Counselling Services