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Doing it Tough campaign shares blokes stories for International Men’s Day

The Australian Men’s Health Forum and Suicide Prevention Australia are reminding men this International Men’s Day weekend that there is help if they are doing it tough, and that this help comes in many forms. 

Alongside the festivities celebrating men on International Men’s Day, which falls on 19th November, the Doing It Tough? website contains stories of blokes who found relief in challenging times.

The website is a partnership initiative between AMHF and SPA, and funded by NSW Health.

It connects men who are looking for support with addiction, relationship issues, financial difficulties, abuse, job-related challenges and mental health, with over 150 local and national groups and community organisations listed.

Speaking on the ABC TV Breakfast Show this morning (17th November), AMHF CEO Glen Poole told host Michael Rowland that there were many pathways to supporting a man who may be facing challenges, whether stemming from relationships, finances, or work.

"It’s vitally important that we’re able to have conversations like this,” he said. “Men’s International Day on Sunday provides an opportunity to talk about a broad range of issues that men are facing across Australia.

“Every man’s different, every man has their struggles and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The Doing It Tough? campaign points men in the direction of different types of support.

“We all have a role to play. We’ve all got men in our lives, family members, work colleagues, friends. There’s this story that men don’t talk. We want to challenge that story, because in our experience men will talk if we get better at listening and asking questions.

“We want to put that call out to people to reach out to the men in our lives, find out what’s going on and just be prepared to listen, and hear their stories.”

Harry Jordan, 30, sat beside Glen on their ABC TV breakfast segment, relating his experiences of developing psychosis at the age of 18 after finishing school.

“I didn’t fully grasp what was happening,” he said.

“Lucky enough for me my psychosis was acutely onset, which meant that it came across very quickly for me and it meant that one day I was normal and happy and the next I presented very differently.

“I was put under the public health care system where I got support straight away. It also meant I was getting professional support right away.”

Harry, who is one of the men profiled in the Doing it Tough? campaign ‘I Found Support That Worked’, said being vulnerable was a strong masculine trait that had helped him get better.

“Getting support was a lot easier when I was vulnerable and it was a lot easier for people to give me that support because people out there, the mental health industry specifically, your friends and your family … they just want you to be better, they want you to be the full version of yourself, which is a mentally healthy version of yourself.”

Poole also spoke to Channel 10 News First anchor Ursula Heger about the growing awareness of men’s mental health in Australia. “We need to turn that awareness into providing better support and making that awareness have an impact in the lives of men,” he said.

“Sharing the stories of men who have actually taken action through initiatives like the Doing it Tough? website is one way of just normalising taking action to get support, and acknowledging that sometimes men will reach out for support and they are not getting good support.

“It’s not enough to say, ‘hey, open up,’ it’s about recognising that each individual man has different needs and there are different ways you can get support.”

Watch Harry, Dave, Russ and John’s stories here:


Further reading

New website for blokes doing it tough (AMHF 9 June, 2022)

Doing it Tough campaign goes beneath the surface of smiling men (AMHF, 30 March, 2023)


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