In Australia, men's mental health is a growing concern. One in eight men will experience depression and one in five will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives . Additionally, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44 . Lack of help-seeking behaviour, stigma, and traditional expectations of masculinity can hinder men from seeking help . Despite these challenges, efforts are being made to raise awareness and improve access to mental health services for men in Australia.
Health service use among men is low, particularly in the mental health space. Almost 25% of Australian men have reported that they would not seek help from anyone for their mental health, with adult men being significantly harder to engage in sources such as phone helplines .
Loneliness has been identified as an area that is significantly associated with depression and suicidality amongst Australian males, with around 4% of Australian men reporting that they are lonely . Men who are not experiencing feelings of loneliness are likely to have significantly better mental health outcomes, highlighting why community initiatives that bring men together into peer and social support spaces have had so much success.
Men from rural and remote communities across Australia currently face significant distress which affects their mental health, with rates of self-harm and suicide being higher in these communities . A lack of access to help and mental health services, paired with socio-economic and lifestyle factors such as higher rates of smoking, drinking and illicit drug use likely contributes to this .
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, many of whom live in rural or remote communities, are three times as likely and their non-Indigenous counterparts to experience negative mental health outcomes . Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have different outlooks on social and emotional wellbeing compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, and as such, specific strategies developed by and in consultation with Indigenous health professionals are needed to address this health inequity .
For more information on men’s mental health, please visit the following websites:
Research and reports relating to men’s mental health can be found below: