A new survey by the Mental Health Foundation shows that Kiwi men experiencing emotionally stressful times seek support from a range of people, but should start asking for a little help from their male friends.
The survey was funded by the Movember Foundation to improve our understanding of men’s health-seeking behavior in order to better target information and support these men, and ultimately have a positive impact on their mental health. The survey looked at how New Zealand men access and use information to support themselves in times of stress. Over 1500 men took part in the survey.
Respondents reported that they could, and did, rely on support from professionals (such as their GP or counsellor) and their spouse or partner.
While 93% of men reported that they saw themselves as a person others could turn to for support and help in times of distress, less than half felt that they could turn to their male friends when they needed emotional support, and even fewer say they would go to their brother or father.
“This suggests that men could reach out to each other (as well as appropriate health professionals) for help when times are tough,” Hugh Norriss, Director of Policy and Development at the Mental Health Foundation says.
“It’s hard to reach out for help, but these results show that most men are willing and able to provide support if they are asked.”
The survey also showed that no man is an island – most respondents reported that they had between three and five people they felt close to, and whom they could turn to for support when needed.
Respondents found that a combination of professional help and support from family and friends was the most effective in overcoming tough times.
“Connecting with others is the most powerful tool we have for feeling happy and mentally well,” Mr Norriss says. “If men reach out and connect with their mates when they’re feeling low, they’ll start to notice positive differences in their moods.”
Robert Dunne, Movember’s New Zealand manager acknowledges the support of those many men [and women] who participate in Movember each year.
“This research wouldn’t have been possible without donations from our Mo community and we are extremely grateful for their continued support. While there is still a lot of work to be done it is fantastic that this piece of research shows that men see themselves as someone that can be turned to for help, this in itself show that men’s attitudes to their mental health is changing for the better”, Mr Dunne says.
The Movember Foundation is the leading global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health. The Movember community has raised over $580 million to date, funding over 800 programs in 21 countries. This work is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs. To date, 4 million moustaches have been grown worldwide, but we won't stop growing as long as serious men’s health issues exist.
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