International Men’s Health Week

July 17th, 2017

Meet CATS team members, Michael and Paul, and find out what they think about men’s mental health.

Why do you think that mental health is such an important part of men’s health?

Michael: “I think it’s important for both men and women’s health in general… the idea of mental health in both research and clinical practice is a fairly new idea… it has been overlooked in the past in comparison to physical health…
…specific to men’s health I think it’s important because… everyone goes through tough times… both boys and girls, and men and women…I think it’s really important… and it’s important not to be overlooked.”

Paul: “Mental health is a really important part of men’s health. There is a lot of focus on physical conditions but mental health conditions can also be as debilitating…”

Do you think that CATS is important for men’s mental health?

Michael: “Definitely! I think because mental health issues for boys and men and known to be linked in with other problems in various domains, such as struggles coping with school and work and home… Because CATS is interested in improving wellbeing in those other domains, alongside mental health, I think it’s a really important study to be a part of.”

Paul: “I do think that CATS is important for men’s mental health. It’s really important for us to find out what comes before people have mental health problems. Like how kids, students and young adolescents are feeling as they grow up. How prevalent certain mental health issues are. Whether they have support… so we can work out where we can intervene with adolescents to try and improve their outcomes as they grow into adults.”

If you could give your 14 year old self one piece of advice about men’s mental health, what would it be?

Michael: “I think it’s really important to start talking about it with someone who cares about you and someone you care about, because talking about it can definitely really help.
Specific to 14 year olds… life is so hectic at high school… I just didn’t know what was going on sometimes. So it can be hard to put into words how you’re feeling.”

Paul: “I would say…be aware of how common mental health issues are… Because, it is very easy when you are growing up to be insensitive to people that you think might be a bit odd but they might actually have a serious problem. So if you are a little bit more sensitive to them you might be able to offer a bit of support and help people out a little bit more.”

Top CATS tips: Men’s mental health
1. Remember to talk to your loved ones!
2. Be respectful of others. You never know what they might be going through.
3. Check out Youth Beyond Blue
4. If you are looking for a little extra help, have a look at our CATS resource sheet.

One final note: The CATS team would like to offer a special thanks to Michael and Paul for contributing to this interview in their personal capacity. We appreciate their contribution to this blog and note that the views expressed in this blog are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of CATS or MCRI.