The message The Regional Men’s Health Initiative gives in everything it does is “… before it all gets too much… Talk to a Mate!! or talk it over”.
It is important for us to talk about issues in our life or tell our story so we can realise we are not alone and that it is safe to talk. As blokes we quite often isolate ourselves and we go into our cave and don’t talk to anyone about our stuff. Now that’s all right, as long as we remember to come out of the cave. One of the problems is we don’t identify who our true mates are in the good times, this then leads to isolation and loneliness which are often precursors for other wellbeing issues.
Who are our Mates?
We say as blokes we have three broad categories of mates to talk to about our stuff or tell our story to. These usually come under the categories of a mentor, a partner and a peer.
These mates are quite often different than the associates or the mates that we play sport with and/or socialise with. Think about the blokes you know that have no one to talk to!
What is the benefit of talking to a Mate?
It’s about sharing our story, and the value there is in realizing that there are other men experiencing similar things, (no matter what the issue) I have never met a bloke yet that hasn’t wanted to tell his story. Sometimes we just need the right environment!
Men are hardwired to be “problem solvers” and we like to work alone in our own cave. We often have an attitude that if we disclose we have a few problems someone will exploit our problem or weakness. It is well known that problems shared are often problems halved and helping men to overcome isolation and independence may help stop us being overwhelmed when difficulties and disappointments come our way.
As men we need to encourage help seeking when needed, and be prepared to “Talk to a Mate” when we know he is down or experiencing difficulties. It isn’t rocket science and it does work.
Ask three times if concerned!
If you have a gut feel that someone you know is not travelling well ask them how they are going, more than once! We can all be that mate to someone at some time, most often it is as simple as listening.
Don’t forget to submit your photographs through WACFL Facebook page with the hash tag #TalktoaMate19
Talk to a mate!! It will help.
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277