Frank: The Men’s Wellbeing Blog

The 5km Radius [20th September, 2020]

Jogging MenLockdown 2.0 has seen the introduction of a number of restrictions that impact our regular movement. In Melbourne this includes two hours of exercise each day and a 5km limit of travel. These measures are really important and designed to reduce the COVID-19 numbers and keep our community safe. We all want that, but at the same time…. it can be a bit of a downer!

In my role as Men’s Wellbeing Coordinator, I talk with guys everyday who are all finding the pandemic and lockdown to be challenging. Many are really noticing the disconnection from friends, the impact on how they feel physically and emotionally and the loss of usual outlets of keeping fit and socially connected.

But something else I am noticing, and learning from the guys I see, is they are all finding ways to be creative in the time of the pandemic to look after themselves and to find ways to get the benefits of exercise to help support them at this challenging time.

Here are a few examples of things guys are doing to get exercise, look after their mental health and wellbeing, and to make the most of their two hours and 5 Km:

“I meet up with a mate at the same time every day and we go for a jog”.

I like this one as they are getting the benefit of social connection and exercise. A double whammy for good mental health.

“I explore a new area within my 5 Km radius and take the dog for a walk somewhere new”.

Another great idea. Exercise, a new and novel environment and being with the pooch are all great for mood and to take you out of your environment. Try out this link and see what is within your 5KM radius

“I’ve found two parks I didn’t even know were close to me. One is great for cycling with my Dad”.

Cycling is another exercise that is brilliant for wellbeing. Finding somewhere different is even better. Check out what Mensline has to say about cycling and positive mental health

A few other suggestions I have also heard include rediscovering Pokémon Go, creating a home gym, using a skipping rope at home, discovering yoga or workout videos on YouTube and creating a daily walking challenge.

While times are challenging a little curiosity and creativity brings opportunity to find new ways to exercise and to improve our mental health or just strengthen our wellbeing.

Want to know more about the benefits of exercise on your mood, stress levels and general wellbeing? Mensline has some great information

Feel like checking in and talking over how you are traveling at this time? Our Men’s wellbeing program offers informal counselling that can be helpful if lockdown is getting you down or you just want to discuss new ways of looking after yourself:

Jason Campbell

Men’s Wellbeing Senior Coordinator

Dads of La Trobe [15th August, 2020]

Dad's of La TrobeA big part of the Men’s Wellbeing program here at La Trobe are the groups and workshops we will hold throughout the year. As the Men’s Wellbeing Coordinator, I also want to support you to develop your own independent groups on campus that focus on different aspects of men’s health and wellbeing.

Recently, a new dad, and student at La Trobe, asked if there was a group on campus for students who are fathers. He was interested in the support that could come from other like-minded guys who are experiencing the same things including the challenges and changes of the parent role while studying at university.

Becoming a father is an amazing time in life with guys describing joy beyond what they ever thought possible. However, this time also brings change and sometimes we see young dads feeling a range of different things including disconnection from usual friendship groups, isolation and pressures related to their new parenting role.

So I am putting out the call. Are you a young dad who is also interested in connecting with other father’s in the La Trobe community and having a network of support of your own? Drop me a line to discuss this further at menswellbeing@latrobe.edu.au

Here is some great information and further support on being a dad from Men’s Line and Beyond Blue

Jason Campbell
Men’s Wellbeing Coordinator

Men’s Health Week 2020 [9th June, 2020]

Men's Health WeekMen’s Health Week focuses on different ways to support the health and wellbeing of the men and boys in our world. This year we turn our attention to connection and looking out for the mental health of our mates and ourselves too.  This is more important than ever in these crazy times of COVID-19 where staying healthy involves distancing ourselves when we really need to feel closer to the people we care about.

Check out Men's Health Week 2020 for more information, and ideas on connection and re-connection.

This Men’s Health Week we want to acknowledge the amazing guys of ‘Tomorrow Man’ and what they do all year for men’s mental health: reinventing masculinity, disrupting stereotypes and continuing the conversation about what it is to be a man today. Tomorrow Man have run a series of workshops here at La Trobe and will be back next semester with another offering just for La Trobe students.

In the meantime, Tomorrow Man are running a virtual session in the community for Men’s Health Week on the 17th June

Welcome to Frank [3rd June, 2020]

Welcome to FrankWelcome to the first ever post of ‘Frank: The Men’s Wellbeing Blog’.

The purpose of Frank is to give regular updates on everything related to men’s health and wellbeing and to explore some of the issues impacting men today. We will give you the heads up on news, research, information, what’s happening here on campus and information on groups and workshops at La Trobe as well as in the community.

In line with the Webster Dictionary definition of “Frank” (free, forthright and sincere expression), Frank is also an opportunity for you to share your own stories and to continue the conversation about men’s mental health through your lived experiences. What has got you through when times are tough?

We hope that Frank provides an opportunity for staying informed on men’s wellbeing as well as well as providing support and connection for male-identifying students of La Trobe.

If you would like to discuss providing a contribution to ‘Frank: The men’s wellbeing blog’ email Jason at: menswellbeing@latrobe.edu.au