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How to talk to the men in your life about mental health

Blog post | 09 Nov 2023

During the month of November, the dudes at Movember encourage men to grow a mo and address mental health issues. This might be by supporting themselves or others.

If you know a man who is feeling low or overwhelmed and finds it difficult to reach out for help, reach out to him. Here are practical tips from the experts at Movember on how to have this conversation.

Be prepared

  • Make sure you're mentally prepared to speak to him.
  • Have the conversation at an appropriate time for you and the man in your life.
  • Be prepared for him to not want to talk to you about his struggles.
  • You should also be prepared for him to reveal how he is feeling. You don't have to provide him with advice like a doctor or counsellor, just listen to him.
  • The chat can take place anywhere that suits you both. If you want to kick off the conversation via text, that's OK.

Use the ALEC model by R U OK?

  • Ask — Ask him how he is feeling. Mention that you have noticed changes in him.
  • Listen — Reassure him that you're not judging him, but you're here to listen to how he is feeling.
  • Encourage action — Talk to him about the areas that he could improve in, such as sleep, nutrition and exercise. Encourage him to share what's going on with him with others he may trust. If changes don't occur in 2 weeks, suggest that he sees a doctor for support.
  • Check in — Don't leave it there. Suggest that you meet up again soon to show him that you care how he's going.

Provide more support

Use the Movember conversations tool to work out what you're going to say when you speak with him. Read more on what to do if he has his guard up.

If he is a dad, let him know about these resources:

You can also tell him about these mental health programs and helplines:

  • Head to Health — for advice and to get connected to local mental health services, call 1800 595 212. Check the operating times.
  • Lifeline for anyone having a personal crisis — call 13 11 14 or chat online
  • MensLine Australia is an online counselling and forum for men — call 1300 78 99 78
  • SANE Australia is for people living with a mental illness — call 1800 187 263 or chat online.
  • Beyond Blue has health resources specifically designed for men — call 1300 22 4636
  • MoodGYM is a free online cognitive behaviour therapy program.
  • Qlife provides a counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people.

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