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Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline: 1300 789 978
beyondblue: 1300 224 626
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Rurallink: 1800 522 002

Helping Men

It can be hard for some men to express their feelings. They might be embarrassed or worried they’ll be seen as weak, think they don’t have anyone to talk to, or just don’t know where to start.

Men get a lot of support and connection by spending time with their mates. It’s important to check-in on a mate if you notice they are not going so well.

Staying connected and touching base with a mate or male family member is something we can all do.

Just checking-in and being there for your mates can make a difference, especially when they are struggling.1

Use the Mental Health Check-up Tool for more advice, tips and support.

What you might see if your mate or partner doesn’t seem okay

  • He isn’t his normal self and hasn’t been for some time.
  • Seems to be down, lacking energy and motivation.
  • Isn’t enjoying the things he normally does.
  • Is withdrawing from friends, family and normal activities.
  • Is engaging in risk taking behaviour such as increased alcohol or other drug use.

Simply starting a conversation and acknowledging changes you’ve noticed, may be all it takes to help make someone feel less alone, more connected and more supported.1 

Starting the conversation

Starting a conversation to check-in on someone you are worried about can be a little daunting. Showing your mate that you’re here for them, especially if you’re worried about them, can make a difference.

Be aware that the person you are concerned about may brush you off the first time you try to talk to them and it may take several conversations before they feel safe to talk.1

Some things to consider before starting the conversation with a mate:

Men often prefer to open-up and talk side-by-side, rather than face-to-face. So you may find it more useful to go out for a drive with your mate, or do an activity that doesn’t involve just face-to-face communication such as:

  • going for a drive together 
  • walking
  • playing golf, kicking a footy, shooting hoops etc
  • surfing, riding a bike, skateboarding etc
  • activities such as working on a car together, boating, home maintenance jobs.

Keeping in-touch and doing things together can make a difference. Don’t underestimate the power of just being there for your mate.2 

Try the following for more information on how to start the conversation, being a good listener and conversation tips.

Helping men who may be suicidal

“Blokes make up an average six out of every eight suicides every single day in Australia. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll”.3

If you are worried that a mate is thinking about taking their own life, let them know that you’re concerned and ask if they’re ok. Don’t be afraid to ask the question – ‘you don’t seem yourself and I’m worried about you. Are you thinking of taking your own life?’ 4

Offer to listen and support them. Suggest they seek professional help and that you’re willing to go see someone with them or if the situation is urgent, contact 000 and stay with them until help arrives.

For more information visit how to help someone who is suicidal or MensLine Australia that have some useful information about how best to help your mate.