Young men “tackling the tough”

Young men “tackling the tough”

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Tackling misconceptions and issues in Men's mental health is the core of a new film made between Headspace Armadale and ARKS Rugby Club. Photograph - Richard Polden

Armadale Headspace, Art Vs Depression and Arks Rugby Club have teamed up to deliver an incredibly important message: tackle the tough stuff together.

The two organisations have embarked on a new project in support of Headspace’s national Headcoach campaign, which uses sport and star athletes to engage and inform youth on mental health.

According to Headspace chief executive Jason Trethowan one in seven young men aged between 16 and 24 experience depression or anxiety every year yet only 13 per cent seek help.

He also said suicide was the leading cause of death for young men in Australia.

Mr Trethowan said young men had a tough time recognising the importance of maintaining their mental health for a number of reasons including gender role stereotypes, inability to identify early warning signs and a reluctance to let anyone know if they are struggling.

“While young men commonly understand the importance of maintaining their physical health they do not place the same emphasis on maintaining their mental health and many simply don’t know where to start,” he said.

“At Headspace we are absolutely committed to ensuring all young men have the tools and confidence they need to be more proactive and open in managing their mental health and wellbeing.

“Simple tips like staying connected to others, building coping strategies, doing things you enjoy and sleeping well can all play a vital role in building resilience and maintaining a healthy headspace.”

Headspace Armadale, the Arks Rugby Club and Arts vs Depression will be supporting the Headcoach campaign by filming a video to engage young men.

The video will star local rugby players from the Arks Rugby Club sharing messages on how to ‘Tackle the Tough Stuff Together’.

The 2nd Chance Op Shop has provided a $2000 donation to help fund the project.

Headspace Armadale’s in-house psychologist Kane Boyatzis said he hoped this would start honest and brave conversations about mental health.

“Men tend to hold back from sharing this part of their lives with others for many different reasons,” he said.

“The truth is we can all do with more help sometimes and that helps us lead stronger lives.

“Every one of us plays a role in making that happen.

“We hope the Headcoach campaign will help empower young men to feel more confident talking about their mental health and wellbeing as well as their physical health.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling they can seek support at Headspace through face-to-face, online and telephone services.

Seven tips to maintaining a healthy mind can be found at headspace.org.au/headcoach.