One in eight men will experience depression at some stage of their lives, while one in five will experience anxiety, according to Beyond Blue. Men are also at the greatest risk of suicide, says the Black Dog Institute, but they are the least likely to get help.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, suicide among males aged between 25 to 29 years is four times the rate for non-Indigenous males — roughly 90.8 deaths per 100,000 population, as reported by The Department of Health.
According to the Black Dog Institute, in 2011, men accounted for roughly 76% of deaths from suicide, but approximately 72% of the male population doesn’t seek help for mental disorders. These figures are scary and highlight just how important it is for us to speak about mental health in a more open manner.
In response to recent events, which have affected the mental health of many people, Australia’s leading digital health clinic for men, Mosh, is now providing free (bulk billed) mental health plans and psychology consultations. And it’s extremely easy to access.
Using Telehealth technology, the Mosh mental health service asks customers to complete a quick questionnaire — it only takes about two minutes — before connecting them to a qualified Australian doctor for a video consult. The doctor will assess the suitability for a mental health plan and issue one, if appropriate.
Customers will then be able to choose a certified psychologist on the online platform and have up to 10 video call sessions with them.
“The government has introduced Medicare-covered GP and psychology consultations during COVID-19, which provides an opportunity for men who might need support at this time to get help from a trusted psychologist, with no out of pocket expenses,” said Mosh co-founder, David Narunsky.
The creation of this service allows men to access mental healthcare from home and aims to squash any discomfort they could feel by seeking help.
“We know that there’s a social stigma men face when it comes to talking about mental health openly, so we wanted to create a safe space where men can access mental health services in a welcoming and attainable way,” said Narunsky.
“We’re big believers in comfort and convenience playing a big role in your health. If something’s too hard we’re less likely to do it, which is why we offer online consultations from the comfort of your own home. No stigma, no judgement, just qualified Australian psychologists keen to help.”
According to preliminary modelling by Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre, the COVID-19 pandemic could result in an extra 750 to 1,500 suicides a year due to the financial and psychological toll of the health crisis.
“There’s no doubt that we’re seeing a spike in mental health issues as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the mix of loneliness and financial hardship is a big risk factor for those who are vulnerable, men may struggle in particular when we consider the effect job loss has on their sense of pride and self-worth,” Narunsky said.
You can head to the Mosh website to find out more about the mental health services on offer.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here.