Helping rural men connect during Men's Health Week

Helping rural men connect during Men's Health Week

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FINDING HELP: Warren faced many challenges that significantly impacted on his mental health. To learn more about You Got This Mate visit www.yougotthismate.com.au

FINDING HELP: Warren faced many challenges that significantly impacted on his mental health. To learn more about You Got This Mate visit www.yougotthismate.com.au

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On average, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.

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On average, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.

Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women and rural men are also much less likely to use psychological services for their mental health problems.

With this knowledge and to help address the issue, the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health's Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) consulted with rural men to develop a new website dedicated to rural men to help them reach their best possible mental health.

The website, www.yougotthismate.com.au, was launched in April 2020.

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Identifying rural men as a priority group, RAMHP believes that improving men's mental health needs goes well beyond getting men to talk - they need simple, actionable advice to keep themselves well and to know how to get help when they need it.

You Got This Mate provides men with practical tips and information about how and when to take action when it comes to their mental health. The website is visual, simple and easy to navigate, aiming to meet the needs of the male target audience and to allow RAMHP to more effectively engage with rural men.

In developing the website, an advisory group of rural men was established, and extensive research conducted, including interviews with leading experts, to better understand the needs of men.

The website connects men to the best possible care in their local area and hosts a range of specific men's mental health resources. It also includes a self-help quiz which helps men track how they're feeling and provides simple steps to take if they need additional advice or support.

You Got This Mate also showcases videos of men sharing their stories about their own journey and struggles with mental health and what they do now to keep well.

One of these stories is Warren Davies previously a dairy farmer and now a facilitator of 'The Unbreakable Farmer'. Warren faced many challenges including floods, family disputes, and the ongoing drought all of which significantly impacted on his mental health.

"For me finding the right type of support for my mental health took time and a lot of energy. If I had had access to a website such as 'You Got This Mate' it would have made my journey a lot easier," Warren said.

"This is partly because it allows you to investigate your own journey in your own time and is less intimidating than calling someone that might not understand. It is also user-friendly.

"People living in rural and regional towns also don't have the same access to services that city people have which is why this website is so important.

"By sharing my story I hope that I encourage others to get help when they need to and if they jump on this website it can help them with some strategies on what they can do now to keep themselves strong," Warren said.

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The story Helping rural men connect during Men's Health Week first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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