Last week was World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10th October) and we asked some of our colleagues in the men's health sector to share their thoughts on men's mental health with us. Here's what Professor John Macdonald from the Men's Health Information and Resource Centre had to say:
"With an understandable focus on mental illness and issues like suicide we can forget that [World Mental Health Day] is a day to celebrate and work on those things which keep us and all, men and women, in life and health.
"Things like a good work /social life balance. Let’s remember that “three good friends” can add to the quality of our lives and so our mental health. The Shed Movement is a good example of something which keeps many men in good emotional health. Long live the Shed Movement!"
"It is true that we need to address issues which lead people (mainly men) to suicide," says Professor Macdonald.
"It is on the increase and there is a lot of emphasis on getting men to talk and this is important, but it is not enough.
"The situational approach to suicide prevention tells us to face and deal with those issues which push some men to take their own lives, like loss of family, of work, of houses etc.
"We need more projects like the Shed in Mt Druitt which for 14 years has been helping men (and also many women) to tackle those issues which are most challenging for their mental health. There is an international interest in this way of working on mental health."
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