Young men fall through mental health screen

By Steph Allen

Mental health is becoming a serious issue among young Australian men.

A new report has found that standard health screenings often miss young men’s mental illness symptoms.

Orygen, the National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health (NCEYMH), released the report this week which says that anger, alcohol and drug use, and risk taking are not always recognised as mental illness signs.

Several National Men’s Health Week events will be held on the Sunshine Coast.

Vietnam veteran and ‘Stay Smart, Strong and Active’ organiser Kevin Moss will be staffing a men’s health information booth at Caloundra Stockland Shopping Centre on Friday from 10am-2pm.

The events are tailored to recognise male symptoms of ill health and provide outlets and support-based programs for men and boys.

“I have found the Council website to be an excellent starting point for health and fitness information, but more importantly, men need to establish a good relationship with their GP, to have routine check-ups and to feel free to discuss any issues of concern,” Mr Moss says.

“Over the [25] years of dealing with veterans I was often surprised at the number who suffered from poor health yet knew little about their body issues and general health basics.”

Astrid Heckler is organising the Men’s BBQ for Depression at Coolum Beach Care Centre on Wednesday from 12 to 1:30pm with a focus on depression and anxiety in men.

“We are inviting men from the care centre and the independent living units to join other men from the community to hear from a speaker from Beyond Blue and his testimony about dealing with depression,” Ms Heckler says.

She says information from The Black Dog Institute, Beyond Blue and Men’s Health Week promoters will be provided.

Representatives from a local GP practice, Coolum’s Men Shed, Sunshine Coast Council and local churches have been invited.

The NCEYMH report says suicide is now the leading cause of death among men aged 15 to 24 years.

It found young men struggling with mental health issues are also expected to live 15.9 years less than their peers.

Next week’s Men’s Health Week events can be found on the Sunshine Coast Council website.

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