Dr. Brett Dellar - Speaking Out About Men's Mental Health

Now more than ever, we are beginning to realise the true importance of our mental health. However, many of our fellow Australians are suffering in silence and struggling to fight their mental health battles alone. For men in particular, the stigma around poor mental health feels like an impenetrable wall they struggle to break down.

The barrier many men face when battling mental health issues is a personal reflection on how they will be viewed if they seek help.

Men are more concerned about how they will be perceived if seen to be seeking help. These concerns frequently lead to denial and avoidance (1).

This barrier to help often sees men fall further into their depression and has led to an increase in male representation in Australia’s suicide rate, with men contributing to 75.4% of deaths by suicide in 2020 (2). The issue of men’s mental health only continues to grow as the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic and feelings of loneliness, stress, and isolation place greater strain on mental health.

A man who knows the detrimental effects of not speaking up on mental health struggles all too well is, Dr Brett Dellar, the Founder of The moMENtum Revolution.

Brett has struggled with depression since his 20’s and tried for years to combat his mental health struggles, using both healthy and unhealthy methods. Turning to alcohol to numb his pain, and even sport to feel as though he belonged, Brett wasn’t able to fully crush his demons until his 50’s.

“I spoke to councillors and psychologists which helped me to a point and then I spoke to my friends and that helped, but I always went back to the old cycle. It never quite cleared it. It wasn’t until one of my mates said stop mucking around and deal with it…”

Through this support, Brett found his way to a men’s mental health workshop in QLD. Here, he learnt the tools and techniques to both open up to others on his struggles, and how to continuously work on his mental health day in and day out. Since that experience, he has finally found his voice and can share his mental health story and the reasons behind what triggered his battle with depression.

With people like Dr Brett Dellar in the corner of men’s mental health support, we can strive towards improving the lives of men suffering from mental health issues and encourage them to use their voice to seek the help they need.

Meet Brett at the 2021 Men in Black Ball on Saturday 26th of June at Crown Towers and hear his moving testimonial speech about his mental health journey.

Click here to secure your tickets!

 

1. Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF). 2018. https://blog.hif.com.au/mental-health/men-s-mental-health-week-why-don-t-men-seek-help-for-physical-and-mental-health-problems
2. Suicide Prevention Australia. 2021. https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/news/statsandfacts

COVID-19 and the Impact on Men's Mental Health: The pandMENic of Society

Discussions around mental health are more important now than ever before, generations of men have been conditioned to not speak about their feelings but it is important that in 2021 we abolish the negative stigma surrounding men's mental health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the last year of our lives. The stress, uncertainty, and unpredictability has led us to re-evaluate what we find most important and how we can better ourselves for the future. However, it has also shed some serious light onto issues that were already prominent in our world. One of the biggest issues being men’s mental health.

For generations us as society have been conditioned to believe that “real men don’t cry”. Men have been afraid to speak out when they are struggling as they fear being “weak”. As a result, feelings are kept bottled up which can lead to increased depression and even suicide. Over the past 10 years the rate of suicide amongst males has increased significantly. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers are continuing to increase at an alarming rate. 

From July to August 2020 calls to the Mensline Australia increased by an astonishing 95% which can be linked to the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the mental health of men (1).

Feelings of loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety have only increased during isolation. The pandemic has shaken even the strongest of us and has left those suffering feeling more lost than ever before.

Men are less willing to reach out and seek help compared to women. The negative stigma surrounding men’s mental health has become so engrained in society’s attitudes that it has become the norm. Remember we talked about how we can use the COVID-19 pandemic to better ourselves for the future? Let’s start this by crushing the negative stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

Pushing for this kind of change will take the shift of society. It is no longer something we can keep under the blanket. It requires active change from everyone. How can you help? Check in on your close male partners or friends. Ask how they are doing and be willing to listen when they respond.

This is where the Momentum For Australia charity seeks to make a difference. It is time to educate society that a strong man is one who opens up, not bottles up!

If you are someone that is struggling, or needs help with addressing their problems there are many outlets you can reach out to:
• Beyond Blue, 1300 22 4636
• Lifeline Australia, 13 11 14
• MensLine Australia, 1300 78 99 78
 

1. On the Line. 2020. https://ontheline.org.au/mental-health-blog/mens-mental-health-statistics/.

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