Men will often brush off an R U OK? or How are you feeling because they've been taught to deal with their own shit from a young age, it doesn't mean they don't want to talk to someone desperately about their problems, they just cant break "The Man Code".
You can start that conversation by asking something like, "Hey mate, I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately, whats up?" OR "I've been pretty stressed out lately and i'd like to talk about it, how about we both get some shit off our chest?"
Remember to ask twice if you know something is wrong and they say that everything is okay.
This can seem like a daunting task but its really not, remember you DON'T need to have all the answers, just listen to him, acknowledge him, don't judge him and be present without being distracted by your phone, emails or someone else.
Toward the end of the conversation you should always encourage further support from professionals. Most of the time blokes hate going to their doctor and will just brush this off, offer to go with him or offer to support him in other ways that he would feel comfortable with.
ALWAYS follow up. Whether that be the same day, the following day or the following week. Remind him that what he is feeling or thinking has not fallen on deaf ears and that he has someone he can trust and rely on discreetly.
For 24/7 Crisis Support phone Lifeline
Call: 13 11 14
For 24/7 support from trained mental health professionals
Call: 1300 224 636
Suicide Call Back Service is a nationwide service that provides professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide.
Call: 1300 659 467
If you're not in a crisis and you want to talk to somebody about how you're feeling or negative thoughts you're having a visit to your GP is a good idea. Often your GP can hook you up with a mental health care plan which entitles you to 10 free sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year.
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