It’s well-documented nowadays that men have a hard time opening up and being vulnerable when it comes to mental health. And a new book by Dr Cate Howell (OAM) titled The Changing Man: A Mental Health Guide, explores a range of issues affecting men’s emotional health and wellbeing, and provides a collection of tried and tested tools to ensure no man suffers in silence again.
When we think about vulnerable people in the community we probably don’t think of men first. Would it surprise you to learn that Australian men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women and twice as likely to die as a result of substance abuse?
Dr Howell, a GP who works extensively with at risk men, says we need to reframe our ideas about what constitutes courage and speak up to ensure blokes stop suffering in silence.
November is a time of year we have come to associate with funky facial hair as people come out in support of men’s mental health. While for some sections of the community it is becoming less taboo to discuss men’s mental health, Australia has stubbornly held on to many of its constructs of manhood that make seeking support for mental health harder for men than it is for women.
Men are affected by everyday stresses, high workloads, anxiety and depression, loss of confidence or identity, relationship breakdowns, family disruption, addictions, and trauma. In this COVID impacted culture many men are now facing for the first time the prospect of job losses, financial hardship and isolation. For many men a combination of our “she’ll be right mate” culture and concerns about appearing vulnerable have made it hard to seek help.
But men are changing. They are re-defining what it is to be ‘strong’, and are more open to understanding their emotions and reaching out for help.
The book covers dealing with addiction, to bettering relationships, overcoming depression, working through sexuality concerns and realising that it is okay not to be okay. The Changing Man’s methods and knowledge may just change your (or a loved one) emotional health for the better.
No shame. No silence. No anger.
The Changing Man is available from exislepublishing.com and wherever life changing books are sold. RRP$32.99