Life can throw many curve balls in the form of work and financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns or significant setbacks – all of which can have a serious impact on your mental health if left unchecked. It seems it is common practice for Australian men to tough it out and struggle alone.
Our mental health refers to our state of mind and ability to cope with the everyday things that are going on around us. When we have a mental illness, this process is often a lot more difficult. It is very normal for everyone to have mental health issues - going through ups and downs - and it is only when the difficulties begin to linger and it feels like nothing can make them go away that they may be considered a mental illness.
Mental illnesses broadly describes many different disorders, illnesses, and syndromes; such as mood or anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Some conditions occur once in a person's life, other times people experience recurrent symptoms over a lifetime with periods of recovery between. For a smaller number of people, they have enduring symptoms of mental illness that requires great resilience and specialist support to build recovery and sustain a contributing life. 
Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men.
Australian Mental Illness Statistics
- 1 in 2 men have had a mental health problem at some point in their lives
- 1 in 8 men will experience depression at some stage in their lives
- 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives
- On average, 6 men each day will take their life through suicide
- 75% of suicides in Australia are by men
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 54
There are many symptoms of a mental illness, but how do you spot the difference between a bad mood and something more serious? Often it is not a single change but a combination of symptoms. Healthdirect have put together 9 signs, not to diagnose a mental illness but to reassure you that there might be a good reason to seek professional help if you are suffering from a combination of these symptoms.
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feeling depressed or unhappy
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleep problems
- Weight or appetite changes
- Quiet or withdrawn
- Substance abuse
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Changes in behaviour or feelings
Minimalize the risk
Take ownership of your mental health by: doing more of the things that make you feel great and help you de-stress; exercising; spending time with family and friends and sharing what is going on in your life, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. The most important thing is to talk!
If you are concerned about your mental health, or the mental health of a friend or family member, the first step is to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
To speak with someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
If you're concerned a friend or loved one is at immediate risk of suicide or self-harm, dial Triple zero (000).
Disclaimer: This information is intended as a guideline only. The sources used are believed to be reliable and in no way replace consultation with a Health Professional.
 Mental health conditions - https://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/mental-health-conditions
 Nine signs of mental health issues - https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/signs-mental-health-issue