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 Trigger warning: this blog article covers topics of depression, self-harm, and suicide.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing suicidal thoughts or crisis, visit your nearest hospital emergency or seek help from these suicide crisis helplines.

Mental health issues are often attached to stigma throughout all walks of life, especially when it comes to the blokes of Australia.

Although we have begun banishing this stigma in recent years, many people living with mental disorders still see their condition as a sign of weakness.

Let’s be clear – this is not the case, at all.

The importance of mental health and emotional wellbeing

Key statistics have revealed that many Australians face complex issues with their health, as almost 50% of people reported having a mental disorder at some point in their lifetime, through a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Currently, more than 3.2 million Australians are experiencing anxiety disorders, depression or both.

Mental health in men in Australia


In 2019, an average of 7 men died everyday as a result of suicide. During this 12 month period, more than 2500 men lost their lives to suicide, compared to an average of 800 women who died by suicide in the same year.

Men account for up to 25% of all people living with a mental health problem in Australia.

Evidence shows that males are much less likely to reach out for help from friends or mental health services when compared to women, even if they are experiencing symptoms or have been previously diagnosed with a mental condition.

It’s time to break down the walls, stop bottling up your feelings, and start saving lives.


Who is at risk of developing a mental disorder?


Mental health disorders do not discriminate against race, gender, age societal status or sexual orientation. Regardless of your personal circumstances, it is possible for any person to be affected by mental illness. While this is true, research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that certain groups may be more vulnerable to developing problems with their mental health and wellbeing.

The number of men dying by suicide each year in Australia may be attributed to the evidence of their hesitation to seek out support. With a staggeringly high rate in suicide numbers, the severity of disorders in some men is more likely to escalate to a fatal circumstance, if treatment is not sought.

Those within the age bracket of 16 to 24 years also have an increased chance of developing issues with mental health and wellbeing, with around 2 in 5 people reporting a year long mental disorder.

While not exclusively hereditary, many men with a family history of mental health conditions may be more vulnerable to developing mental issues throughout their lives.

What’s the first sign that you may be living with mental illness?


It’s important to understand that mental health issues cannot be categorised into one box, nor should they be. Each person, even when diagnosed with the same mental illness, is likely to experience the symptoms and effects unique to their circumstances.

Some of the most common warning signs and symptoms of mental health issues, include:

  • Low mood

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Increased stress levels

  • Rapid change in mood

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Irrational fears

  • Excessive worrying

  • Substance abuse

  • Withdrawal from social activities

Many men and women will experience feelings of anxiety, depression or negative thoughts at some point in their lives. If you encounter any of these problems, it’s important to seek help immediately, before your situation worsens. If left untreated, the first signs of mental illness may escalate to thoughts of suicide or self harm.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing suicidal thoughts or crisis, visit your nearest hospital emergency or seek help from these suicide crisis helplines.

Common types of mental health problems


Mental disorders can affect people over short and long time periods, be situational, and also feature reoccurring episodes throughout a lifetime. By developing a better understanding of mental illness, you’re giving yourself the power to effectively manage your overall health and well-being.

Affective disorders

As defined by a leading statistical Australian government department, affective disorders are classified as a diagnosis of a depressive episode, dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder) or bipolar affective disorder. An affective disorder is categorised by the ability of the disorder to affect your mood.

Eating disorders

Aspects of eating disorders can be seen at both ends of the scale, as some people deprive themselves of food to an extreme level, while others consume food excessively. ABS data shows that females are twice as likely as men to experience binge eating episodes during their lifetime.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Research shows that ADHD is more prevalent in men, with numbers almost doubling those that are recorded in women. Most cases of ADHD are diagnosed during childhood, although some people will experience adult onset of the condition.

Substance use disorders (SUD)

Addiction is often the most severe symptom of substance use disorders. SUD is a diagnosed mental health condition, whereby the compromised brain functionality results in an inability to control the use of substances, such as alcohol, illicit drugs and medications.

Anxiety disorders

During 2021, anxiety was identified as the most common type of mental health disorder in Australia, with 1 in every 7 men reporting some form of anxiety or depression during their lives.


As one of the highest risk factors for suicide, depression and thoughts of hopelessness should always be taken seriously.

The latest statistics from Beyond Blue, an Australian institute focusing on both general and men’s mental health, have revealed the astonishing fact that men account for an average 7 out of every 9 suicides daily in Australia. The number of deaths by suicide for men in Australia each year is almost double the national road toll.

A number of digital mental health services are now available in Australia, via both online consultation with a doctor or through 24 hour support centres, such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline.

There’s no excuse for going it alone anymore, with many services offering not only phone line help, but text based chats with counsellors via mobile or computer. If you’re experiencing feelings of depression but aren’t ready to talk about your feelings face to face, you can seek help via discreet services.

Triggers for mental illness


What triggers a mental health episode from a pre-existing diagnosis or the manifestation of a new illness will vary greatly, depending on each individual. Let’s find out some of the most common (and also the lesser known) triggers out there.

Isolation is a key contributor for many people with mental health problems. While some people may thrive in an autonomous employment role, remote work can have a significant negative impact for others. Generally speaking, it’s human nature to need some form of connection to the outside world. So, even if it’s hard for you to be in the same physical location as your friends and family, remember to reach out via phone, video, or social media.

While we all know that too much fast food isn’t good for your physical health, did you know that it can also trigger mental health problems? Too much fast food can deprive your brain of the nutrients it needs to properly function, which may lead to anxiety or depression in the long run.

Poor eating habits can impact mental health

How mental health impacts your life


Although you’re probably well aware of the psychological distress mental health issues can cause, it’s important to know that, if left untreated, these problems can wreak havoc on other aspects of your everyday life, including:

  • Poor work performance

  • Inadequate sleep

  • Problems maintaining relationships

  • Losing touch with friends

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Mental health disorders can also be detrimental to your physical health and cascade into additional concerns, such as cold sores, illness, hair loss, reflux and injury from the inability to focus.

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing


Learning and practicing techniques for achieving better health and mental wellbeing will do wonders for your state of mind. While each individual will discover what works best for them, here are a few of the most favoured techniques to support your mental health:

  • Continuing connection with friends and family

  • Spending time doing something that you enjoy

  • Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as yoga or meditation

  • Talking to and seeking support from a counsellor or doctor about ways to manage stress

  • Exercising regularly

  • Making time for relaxation


Let’s get your health sorted


If you’re concerned about the mental health of yourself or someone you care about, taking action is the first step towards changing a life. Start the conversation with a men’s health specialist for extra support, however you need it.



Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2022) National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. (https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/mental-health/national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing/latest-release)

Beyond Blue. (2022) Statistics. (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/media/statistics)

NIH. (2004) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd)

NIH. (2021) Substance Use and Co-occurring Mental Disorders. (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/substance-use-and-mental-health)