In Australia, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women and approximately six men die by suicide every day in Australia, yet evidence indicates men are far less likely to seek help for mental health conditions than women. While mental health is as important as physical health, we tend not to talk about it as much. This has led to an increased need to raise awareness. About 1 in 5 men will experience depression, anxiety or both in any year. Being in such a state takes a drastic toll on your life and can affect everything you do.
Mental health, although often used as a substitute for mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety conditions, schizophrenia, and others, according to World Health Organisation is defined as a “state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”Mental health conditions on the other hand refer to disorders that can affect your mood, thinking and behaviour and stops you from reaching you potential.
Men’s Mental Health and the Trades Industry
Mental health issues and conditions are prevalent in many communities and workforces, including the trades industry. The nature of the trades industry can result in many factors that may lead to an increased risk of experiencing mental health issues. Many varying stressors as well as the stigma associated with discussing mental health can have drastic impacts on an individual’s mental health.
The Stigma Men face for Seeking Help
Many men find it difficult to seek help when needed. They end up bottling their feelings which can lead to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation which may result in other more serious mental conditions such as depression. Many workers also find it exceedingly difficult to discuss their feelings and emotions so as not to “appear weak”.The most common mental health issues or conditions for men include:
When what is being asked and our ability to deliver or cope with demands is imbalanced, it causes a feeling of being overwhelmed and under immense pressure. In turn, this causes discomfort and distress for the individual. Stress can be good in healthy dosages but being constantly overwhelmed by stress can lead to other mental health problems.
Being isolated or lonely for prolonged periods of time is a contributor to many social illnesses including substance abuse, violence and suicide. Even if surrounded by people, a man might still feel alone. They may feel that they are not being understood or belong to anywhere.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. It is more than just feeling stressed or worried. Constant anxiety can get in the way of life and increase risks to diseases or panic attacks. It can be crippling and impact both physical and mental health
Depression is the feeling of sadness or “low” but more intense and lasting longer periods of times (weeks, months or even years). It is more than a low mood and is a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health.Mental health can look different for each person and vary in severity but no matter how small or insignificant you may think your experience with it is, the best thing to do is ask for help. If you have a loved one or someone you can trust, it is always good to tell them what you are going through and confide in them. If you would rather seek professional help, there are many services available and you can always reach out to your GP.
It is OK to ask for help
“Talking action and seeking help is the most reasonable thing to do if facing difficulties.”
Bathurst Electrical acknowledges that our business is in a predominantly male industry and as such we understand the importance of raising awareness about mental health, including within our own teams, and encouraging those in need to take the first step and simply ask for help.By effectively managing your mental health you can gain significant improvements in your quality of life, increase your capacity to support your family and loved ones, and perform at your best.
“It is always OK to ask for help, whether for yourself or someone you care about.”
We understand that this year has proven difficult to many. If you are feeling concerned about your wellbeing, Beyond Blue’s dedicated corona virus mental wellbeing support service is available any time of the day or night. Based on your specific needs, their trained counsellors will provide advice and information, and will direct you to the right sources for help. For further support call 1800 512 348 (available 24/7).
Making a Difference and Raising Awareness in the Workplace
There are a number of steps we at Bathurst Electrical take in order to increase awareness about mental health and make a difference in our work place.We encourage talking openly about mental health issues in the workplace and sharing of personal experiences while respecting other people and celebrating their differences. We are wary and open to learning about other people’s experiences with mental health, ensuring that we also respect their privacy.We continually try to be a positive role model to others and promote a culture where people are inspired to do their best. We implement workplace policies and procedures that are aimed at improving mental health in the workforce. We always encourage open communication when problems arise and help to find solution. Finally, we aim to keep our team informed about how Bathurst Electrical can support them and how any team member can access our help if and when they need it.
Bathurst Electrical and Marathon Health
We are always working to improve our staff’s day-to-day lives. One such way is through our meetings with Marathon Health about ways to further support our team and build a healthy work environment and culture by encouraging a work life balance and offering flexible working conditions to assist with this. We are also working with Marathon Health to:
- Implement training opportunities around mental health education
- Increase awareness of mental health information
- Hold team meetings to discuss everything mental health in a safe and respectful setting
- Utilise signs and posters to encourage early intervention
In addition to this, our Team Leaders, Rob and Madelain, have completed safeTALK training – the safeTALK training is a half-day alertness workshop that prepares anyone, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide alert helper.
When should you seek help?
If you are experiencing or struggling with the following signs. We recommend reaching out to someone you trust or seek some outside assistance:
- Mood changes
- Drastic weight changes
- Sadness, hopelessness or loss of pleasure in things that once interested you and provided enjoyment
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Constant anxiety
We have provided links to a number of resources below that may help.
“There’s always hope and there is always help!”
If you think you or a loved one may be in immediate danger or at risk of harming yourself or others, please contact emergency services 000 or call Lifeline for resources and support at 13 11 14