It’s common knowledge that men experience connection and get support from hanging out with their mates. By the same token, they aren’t the best about opening up about difficult conversations. Showing your mates that you’re here for them might mean starting that difficult conversation yourself, especially if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above. This uncomfortable conversation could be what prevents them from taking their life – and that’s certainly worth any momentary awkwardness.
Simply checking in with yourself and checking in with your mates can help make someone feel connected, less alone, and more supported. Beyond Blue shares tips on how to ask your friends the uncomfortable questions while listening and showing support. They also recommend simply going for a drive with your mate or suggesting services where they can chat with someone anonymously if they don’t feel comfortable opening up.
If things seem really bad or extreme and you’re worried about mate’s safety, get in touch with their doctor, mental health crisis services, or call emergency services.
Help join R U OK’s vision to help empower everyone to connect with each other and support anyone who happens to be struggling. Start the conversation, as awkward as it may be, to help prevent your mate from feeling alone. And, if you’ve been feeling depressed or anxious yourself, it’s okay to reach out and ask for help too. Let’s end the stigma around men’s mental health.