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Young men encouraged to seek help

On the eve of Men's Health Week (14-20 June 2010), headspace, Australia's youth mental health foundation, is encouraging young men to seek help if they're concerned about their mental health.

Video Hits and Nova 100 presenter and headspace Men's Health Week ambassador Dylan Lewis said, "Men need to start learning how to talk. We're not very good at talking about feelings, about things that are going wrong. We like to pretend everything fine and if it's not, we like to keep face. If there's a problem, address it instead of pretending it's not there because addressing it is the first step to getting something done about it."

headspace CEO Chris Tanti said, "Mental health is the single biggest health issue facing young men today. Depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol use are key areas of concern, with men more than twice as likely as women to have drug and alcohol problems. Suicide is a leading cause of death for young men and overall male deaths by suicide outnumber female suicides by 3 to 1.

"Despite this, young men are less likely than young women to seek help.

"The health of an individual doesn't just impact on that one person, it can have a significant effect on, and at times even burden, the people around them, their friends, family and community. Looking after your health looks after the community.

"It's absolutely crucial that young men understand that help is available, for themselves and their friends. Organisations such as headspace provide confidential support for all young people, often free or at a low cost. We want young men to know headspace is somewhere to turn if they're having a tough time."

The 2007 National Mental Health Survey found that the use of services for mental health problems was much lower in men, compared to females. Only 28 per cent of males experiencing a mental disorder accessed services for mental health problems, compared to 41 per cent of females.

headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, has had huge success in reaching young men: recent headspace data has revealed has revealed that 42.25% of clients are male.

headspace provides a wide-range of accessible and non-stigmatising services, assisting young people with concerns about mental and physical health, drug and alcohol concerns and access to educational and vocational

Mr Tanti says, "Our success at headspace in targeting young men has shown that, when approached correctly in a way that is meaningful to them, they are more likely to seek help. Our aim is to provide the help and support young people need, when they need it the most."

headspace has 30 centres in both regional and metropolitan Australia that offer health advice, support and information for young people. A headspace centre is a youth-friendly place where young people can seek help and confidential services which are low cost or free.

For more information about headspace: headspace.org.au

Men's Health Week takes place 14 - 20 June 2010. Men's Health Week promotes awareness of important male specific health issues, while acknowledging and celebrating the contribution men make at work, home and in the community.

For more information about Men's Health Week: menshealthweek.com.au

headspace media contact:

Briony Walker
Tel 03 9027 0112
Mob 0402 399 746
Email bwalker@headspace.org.au