Ditch the Mo, but Remember the Message

BY SUPPLIED - NOVEMBER 25, 2015

As the month of the Mo draws to a close, research by the Men’s Foundation has revealed that as many as 51% of men feel that they have to cope with their health concerns on their own.

In Australia, 70% of men surveyed revealed that they don’t reach out to others because they feel that it is not socially acceptable to talk about what they are feeling.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) states that a third of adults in South Africa will be affected by mental illness at some stage in their lives and there are 23 suicides in the country each day, with over 200 attempts per day.

Through funds raised by the Movember campaign, the Men’s Foundation will be working closely with SADAG to destigmatize mental health, particularly amongst men.

“Because so many men feel that admitting that they are struggling is a sign of weakness, many mental health problems are not being dealt with,” says Garron Gsell, CEO and founder of the Men’s Foundation.

“Depression affects physical as well as mental wellbeing. It is a big area of concern for us. We want to shatter the stigma surrounding male mental health. The courage to talk about emotions is a sign of strength, not of weakness.”

The Men’s Foundation aims to make a tangible difference to the lives and health of South African men. It does this by creating awareness and raising funds to improve research and treatment options for men’s health issues, ultimately eroding the stigmas associated with the diseases that affect men, ultimately helping men to live happier, healthier, longer lives.

Anyone, of any age, can be affected by poor mental health. Many men find it difficult to share their problems and try to remain ‘strong and silent’ rather than getting support when it’s needed.

The signs and symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, and can include:

·         Feeling sad or "empty", hopeless, irritable, anxious, or angry;

·         Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities, including sex;

·         Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much; and

·         Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities.

It’s important to be proactive about your mental health, be aware of risk factors and symptoms, and stay connected with your friends and family. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health problem, the most important first step is to talk to someone.

Whether it’s your doctor, your family, your friends, or an anonymous person on a support line.

There are only a few days left to show your support for Movember, and the work that the Men’s Foundation is doing. Make a donation on www.movember.com or download the Movember app on your mobile device. Follow Movember on social media: @MovemberRSA on Twitter or facebook/MovemberSouthAfrica.