A new survey suggests a majority of men are more likely to experience mental illness.
Key points:Men are more than three times as likely as women to have a mental health conditionA majority of Australians think mental illness is a problem for men and a lack of care for men is a bigger problem than mental illness for womenThe report found men experience higher levels of depression and anxiety than women and that there are more men in mental health treatment centres than womenThe latest Mental Health Survey from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found just under three-quarters of Australians (73%) believed mental illness was a problem in their own lives.
The report, which is released on Monday, also found more men than women felt a need to talk about their mental health issues.
However, only a third of men felt they could get help if they needed it.
The study found men were three times more likely than women to be affected by a mental illness and that a lack or lack of knowledge about mental health was a bigger issue for men.
Dr Anne O’Leary, a clinical psychologist and researcher at the AIHW, said while there were many barriers to mental illness awareness for men, it was important for men to feel comfortable talking about their issues.
“Men are often seen as having low self-esteem, a lack to feel good about themselves, or are seen as ‘other’ because of their gender,” she said.
“But the research suggests there is a lot of self-talk going on among men and their feelings about mental illness are often less clear.”
They may be more comfortable talking to their GP, their family doctor, a social worker, counsellor, or a mental therapist.
“The latest study also found women were more likely, if they were a man, to feel a need for care, but they were less likely to seek help.”
In general, men are less likely than other men to seek mental health care for a variety of reasons,” Dr O’Connor said.
Ms O’Keefe said the survey showed men needed to take a “fresh look” at their mental wellbeing and their relationship to their partner, their children and their partner’s carers.”
The challenge is that we’re not seeing it from a social, family, and partner perspective,” she added.”
We’re seeing it in a clinical and research context.
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