The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre has joined with Movember and beyondblue to declare it is ‘game on’ for tackling the mental health and wellbeing of young men aged 16-25, after its national survey revealed almost 20% do not think their life is worth living.
The first Young and Well National Survey, a scientific study of young men from across Australia, identified alarming statistics that suggest our current mental health system is failing young men, with
- nearly one in five young men in the past 12 months having felt that life is hardly worth living
- nearly one in ten young men having thought about taking their own life
- unemployment and moderate to very high levels of psychological distress predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and
- 42% of young men experiencing psychological distress.
The research also identifies that engaging with young men via technology that matches their current usage and behaviour online, offers new hope for improving their mental health and wellbeing.
Young men with ‘moderate’ to ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress were more likely to talk about problems, or find out about issues, on the internet and were more likely to access health information, listen to (or download/upload) music and play games with others on the internet.
“Unfortunately, young men do not seek help and many young men are not using services until they reach crisis point,” according to Young and Well CRC CEO, Associate Professor Jane Burns.
“Technology presents our best prospect yet to work directly with young men to create new ways of engagement, new models of care, and greater empowerment for young men in their management of stress and life pressure.
“For the last 20 years we have known our young men are not faring well: suicide, motor vehicle accidents and violence are the major killers of young men in Australia. Good mental health and wellbeing are critical to their prevention and lay the foundation for health and happiness,” A/Professor Burns said.
The report is the first from the three organisations that have come together in a National Young Men’s Mental Health Alliance which is committed to building evidence, trialling innovative approaches and creating a critical mass of new and emerging research leaders dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young men.
“Movember is committed to supporting collaborative, ground-breaking programs and are proud to be working with Young and Well CRC and beyondblue on this game-changing approach to improving the mental health of young men. I'm also pleased to announce that Movember will commit $2.5 million to programs focused directly on the mental health of young Australian men,’ said Jason Hincks, Movember's Chief Operating Officer.
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If you or a young man you know needs support or assistance for depression or other mental health issues, please contact:
Youthbeyondblue or call 1300 22 4636