Home Men's Health North-West men’s health organisation ‘Man Up’ is encouraging men to speak up,...

North-West men’s health organisation ‘Man Up’ is encouraging men to speak up, and speak out | The Advocate


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It was around June last year when Aaron Meldrum got the news that his friend had attempted to take his own life. In a region where mental health was already a challenge and suicide rates far too high, he wasn’t going to sit by and let things stay the way they were. So, he started Man Up Tasmania. “A group of my friends and I got together and had a chat about how the current system wasn’t adequate, and wasn’t meeting the needs of the community,” Mr Meldrum said. “We decided to do something about it.” Each month, the group hosts a get-together at a local bar or similar venue, with the sole aim of creating a peer-support network where men can get talking. RELATED: Circular Head Mayor’s call to act on mental health concerns “We see a lot of men that don’t actually know when they’re at a crisis point, or find it hard to identify their own emotions and where they’re at,” Mr Meldrum said. “A lot of the time we’ve found when you say mental health, people think of mental illness. There’s not enough focus on… what actually makes up mental health and wellbeing overall.” The group wants to be a space where men can talk about what they’re experiencing, and identify what situational stresses may be affecting their mental wellbeing before they reach a crisis stage. RELATED: Tasmanian Government admits to failures in youth mental health services “We want to help men understand that perhaps what they’re going through may… be linked to a financial stress or a situational stress, so they can develop the skills to identify these stressors and how to work on them themselves as a preventative step,” Mr Meldrum said. When it comes down to it, said Man Up Tasmania member Jonathan Somers, the group is just about having a safe space and a shoulder to lean on. “It’s about just having a mate to talk to,” he said. “Quite often, you might not have a diagnosable illness, but you’re just going through something really tough and you don’t know how to deal with it. “Sometimes having someone there is all you need.” On March 13 the group is hosting an official launch at the Ulverstone Wharf precinct. If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please call:



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