A new website has just launched to help rural men reach their best possible mental health. ‘You Got This Mate’ provides tips, information and personal stories from rural men about their struggles with mental health and how to keep well.
According to the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAHMP), men are three times more likely to die of suicide than women, and rural men are much less likely to use psychological services for their mental health problems.
That’s why RAHMP consulted with rural men to develop ‘You Got This Mate’, with a focus on how and why to take action, connecting men to the best possible care in their local area, wherever they live.
Mental health journeys
Former dairy farmer Warren Davies has shared his journey on the site. His personal challenges have included floods, family disputes, and drought, all of which impacted on his mental health.
‘If I’d had access to a website such as “You Got This Mate” it would have made my journey a lot easier,” Warren said. ‘It allows you to investigate your own journey in your own time and is less intimidating than calling someone who might not understand. It’s also user-friendly.’
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor MLC said the site was full of practical resources to help men who are in need of support.
‘Life in rural areas presents unique challenges and men can often find it hard to put their hand up when they are struggling. Seeing their peers sharing their own thoughts and feelings is a great way of starting the conversation about their situation.’
RAMHP Coordinator Steve Carrigg said feedback from their men’s advisory group was that they wanted a website that is visual, simple and easy-to-use with lots of suggestions on how to take action and resources that are relevant for rural people.
‘The website also includes a self-help quiz which helps people track how they’re feeling and provides simple steps to take if someone needs additional advice or support,’ said Mr Carrigg. ‘We know that seeking help early gives you a better chance of a quick recovery and reduces your risk of mental health problems in the future.’
Help for carers too
Mr Carrigg suggested that the new site is also a useful resource for carers, parents and colleagues of rural Australians who are facing mental health problems.
‘We encourage people to check out this website and share it with a mate,’ he said.
Warren Davies says the site is important because people living in rural and regional towns don’t have the same access to services that city people have. ‘If they jump on this website it can help them with some strategies on what they can do now to keep themselves strong,’ he said.
To access the men’s mental health website, go to ‘You Got This Mate’.
If you have concerns about yourself or a loved one, please contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 (free call for landlines) or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.