Much can be said about why there is still a significant gender gap and male disadvantage when it comes to wellbeing and longevity – genetics, propensity for risk, diet, social stereotyping, disconnectedness and disinclination to seek help to name a few. The fact remains that shining a light on men’s health in particular, helps towards better outcomes for all.
International Men’s Health Week, held annually in June, raises global awareness of the particular physical, mental and emotional needs of men, with organisations across the world promoting initiatives that men can take to improve themselves. Here are some of our favourite Men’s Health Award nominees from this year and 2021 to help you or the men in your life take next steps to better their mental health.
The TIACS clinical team consists of experienced counsellors and mental health professionals offering counselling services for truckies, tradies and rural, blue collar workers. TIACS was established by the founders of the TradeMutt workwear brand and has supported around 8,000 clients with half of first-time callers saying they have never contacted a mental health provider before.
Developed at Victorian private boys’ school Brighton Grammar, the +M Framework is a way to provide boys, young men, their parents and teachers with the information and tools about consent and positive masculinity. The framework aims to impart positive character strengths and qualities, the importance of reaching out to external services such as counselling and mentorship, and sharing positive masculine role models for the boys to look up to. Teaching men about mental health and the dangers of toxic masculinity at a young age is important to raise well-rounded members of society.
The Ken Oath Barbershop is a Canberra-based mobile service that provides haircuts alongside mental health support to men who wouldn’t generally access mainstream services. Created by barber Sam Dowdall, a trained crisis counsellor, he wants Ken Oath Barbershop to “not just a place for a haircut, but to find resources around men’s mental health, communication and conversations around masculinity.”
With many men’s health concerns and lifestyle pressures converging in remote Australia, Sober In the Country, founded in 2015 by Shanna Whan, has enabled many to speak out about booze in the bush, have ‘straight talk’ and embrace the idea that ‘it’s ok to say no’. Reports show that remote Australians are 150% more likely to experience alcohol harm, and only 17% will get help, so providing services to help connect people living in rural areas who may be struggling with alcohol alongside other support and awareness campaigns, is critical to the success of our rural communities.
Men’s health is more important than ever, and with numerous outlets to aid the mental, physical and emotional health of Australian men available, is accessible to all that need it.
By Sarah Panther