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Be a Man: speaking up about a silent killer

By Tori Heron
Suicide is the biggest killer for men under 54 in Australia and research by one of the nation’s largest support services, Beyond Blue, suggests men are now more likely to suffer from a mental illness and not get help.

The tough exterior has hardened the core of many Australian men, making talking about their problems seem an unnecessary matter.

With rising concerns in mental health, deep-seated tradition on how to ‘be a man’ is becoming less a sign of strength and more a point of weakness.

But in the modern media age the internet has become a centre for campaigning tools to try and bridge the gap between sufferers and support.

Social media being the main platform for advocacy, hashtag campaigns like #itsokaytotalk have swept the globe encouraging men to talk openly.

But it isn’t enough for Canberra man, Philip Meddows, who had been to the edge during a long battle with depression.

It wasn’t the campaign that saved him, rather pushing aside fear and ego to open up and talk about his problems through a YouTube channel helped his path of recovery.

Campaigners for events like R U OK? Day too believe there is more to tackling the issue than just a social media connection.

A personal connection and a sense of community through people interacting with people, in combination with the outreach social media brings is the most promising method in men speaking up.

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