You don’t need to look further than an 8-year-old boy’s soccer game on a Saturday afternoon to watch young boys have 1950’s phrases thrown at them by adults; “harden up princess”, “boys don’t cry”, “toughen up, mate”, “don’t be a sook”, “don’t be a girl”, “get over it”…the list goes on and on.
Men’s mental health in Australia is so important, especially at this time. The statistics are striking; suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-44 year olds, and male suicides account for three quarters of all suicides in Australia.
It’s 2018. It’s time to get rid of outdated ideals of what masculinity looks like, and start letting boys and men know that it’s ok to be vulnerable and emotional. And not just letting them know it’s ok, showing them it’s ok.
So, as we come to the end of Mental Health Month, it’s an honour to have recorded a podcast interview with Gus Worland of Triple M Sydney. Gus is certainly showing men it’s perfectly ok to ask for help and talk to a mate about what you’re going through. Not only is Gus a dad of 3, and the star of the TV show ‘Man Up’ (available on ABC iView), he’s also created a fantastic non-for-profit foundation, Gotcha4Life, which fundamentally works to save lives of males throughout Australia. Their goal is to positively engage and significantly impact men’s mental health.
A culture of toxic masculinity is undoubtedly fuelling the outrageously high levels of male mental health issues, and men in general finding it challenging to open up, speak to a mate about their problems, or seek professional help. Gus believes that men today just aren’t being given the “emotional tools” they need.
He’s a dad of 3, and admits “parenting is tough”. It’s time to start giving our sons, and all our children, the skills our parents didn’t give us. He says “we only know what we know from our parents or the village that brought us up, and our old village is old fashioned! It’s not approved, a lot of the time, by this young lot of kids coming through, so that’s very difficult”.
And he’s so right. With today’s immense pressures on our children, such as social media, it’s more important than ever for parents to remain emotionally in touch with their kids. Making an effort to stretch out the standard conversation of . . .
“How was school?”
. . . goes a very long way in making sure your kids are coping.
As modern parents, we’re all struggling to stay on top of both our own, and our kids mental health. In this podcast, our Teen Time expert Lucy Dahill talks to Gus Worland about dads and their relationships with expression.
Please join us in recognising Mental Health Month, and listen to the great podcast below.
If you’re finding you need some help, Gotcha4Life’s website have a fantastic list of services you can turn to.