Men’s Health Week 2020 (15- 21 June) is designed to raise awareness of the preventable health challenges that men face today. We all have a role to play. That’s why this week, La Trobe’s Men’s Wellbeing Coordinator Jason Campbell emphasises the power of connection in supporting good mental health.
This year we want to highlight social connection as a particularly important feature of men’s wellbeing. We are currently living in unusual and challenging circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The precautions we need to make to stay healthy are creating distance with those most important to us.
We know that men often get a lot of mutual support while participating in activities with their mates (e.g., sport, on-campus university life, gym, the pub etc). These activities become the forum to check in with each other. With this pandemic we are seeing a reduction in the regular activities for guys to connect and support one another. This can leave many men feeling isolated, a sense of loneliness and disconnection. This comes at a time of study and exam stress as well as all the usual stressors of everyday life!
Your challenge this week: Reach out
Why not take up the challenge to reach out, check in and connect? Call a friend. Check in on a mate that perhaps isn’t traveling so well at the moment. Organise a group catch up. Making contact out of the blue can sometimes feel hard to do but it is well worth it.
Tips for Connecting and Reconnecting
- Make a list of friends you want to catch up with in the week via Zoom. Check in and see how they are traveling.
- Now that restrictions are relaxing. Make a time to go jogging with a mate or two. Exercise and social contact are two of the best things you can do to lift your mood and impact stress.
- Campus may not be open just yet but why not create an online study group?
- Check out Movember’s guide to staying connected, including “Reach out with ALEC” a four step guide to talking with a mate who might be doing it tough at the moment.
- Movember’s Conversation Tool can help further with those conversations.
Find free support at La Trobe
La Trobe University’s Men’s Wellbeing Service is designed to provide dedicated support, information and opportunities for connection for the men of La Trobe. Services include counselling tailored specifically for men, workshops and groups throughout the semester, and ongoing men’s health and wellbeing information.
Support services and resources can be found at La Trobe’s tailored Men’s Health Week page on the website.
Check out the University’s Men’s Wellbeing blog Frank for content tailored for men.
Counselling is also available via with La Trobe’s free counselling service.
For out-of-hours mental health and wellbeing support, please contact theLa Trobe University Crisis Line.
Call: 1300 146 307 or
Text: 0488 884 100
Alternatively, you can also contact Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Call: 13 11 14