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We are committed to respecting the privacy of all users of this Website.

The types of information that may be collected as a result of your use of this Website are:

  • the fact you have visited the Website and the date and time of your visit;
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We will not make any attempt to identify you through your browsing activities.

The only specific personal information we may collect is your name and email address. If you provide this information to us to, it will only be used for the purposes of enabling us to enable us to send you a longer questionnaire as part of the evaluation of the Man Therapy campaign.

beyondblue has a detailed Privacy Policy which outlines how we collect, store and use your personal information. View beyondblue's Privacy Policy

In this statement, "beyondblue" means Beyond Blue Limited ACN 093 865 840 and "we" and "us" refer to beyondblue, and "our" has a similar meaning. "Website" means the website located at


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To see your results, please take Dr. Ironwood's Mind Quiz.


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To see your results, please take Dr. Ironwood's Mind Quiz.

Terms of Use

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By accessing the Man Therapy website (Website), you agree that these terms and conditions (Terms of Use) will apply to your use.

We may change these Terms of Use at any time without notice. Any amendment will be effective immediately. Your continued use of the Website after any amendment constitutes an agreement by you to comply with, and be bound by, the amended Terms of Use. Accordingly, you should access and read the Terms of Use from time to time for changes.

In these Terms of Use, "we" and "us" refers to Beyond Blue Limited ACN 093 865 840 and any contractors we employ in relation to the management or moderation of this Website, and "our" has a similar meaning.


These Terms of Use incorporate, and should be read together with, our Privacy Policy.

General disclaimer

To the extent permitted by law, we will in no way be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or damage, however caused (and whether direct, indirect, consequential or economic) which may be directly or indirectly suffered in connection with use of this Website or websites of other entities which are hyperlinked from this Website (Linked Websites).

This general disclaimer is not restricted or modified by any of the following specific warnings and disclaimers.

Specific warnings and disclaimers

The information contained on this Website is provided by us in good faith and on an 'as is' basis. The information is believed to be accurate and current as at the date the information was placed on this Website. We make no representation or warranty as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this Website, or that your use of this Website will be uninterrupted or error free. The information on this Website is not a substitute for professional mental health or medical advice or treatment. You should not act on the basis of anything contained on this Website without first obtaining professional advice specific to your circumstances. Never disregard professional mental health or medical advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have seen on this Website. You must make your own assessment of the information contained on this Website and, if you choose to rely on it, it is wholly at your own risk.

We are not liable to you or anyone else if interference with or damage to your computer systems occurs in connection with your use of this Website or a Linked Website. You must take your own precautions to ensure that whatever you select for your use from this Website is free of viruses or anything else (such as worms or trojan horses) that may interfere with or damage the operations of your computer systems.

We may, from time to time, change or add to this Website without notice. However, we do not undertake to keep this Website updated and we will not be liable to you or anyone else if errors occur in the information on this Website or if that information is not up-to-date.

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As a condition of your use of the Website, you warrant to us that you will not use this Website for any purpose that prohibited by these Terms of Use. In particular, you agree not to:

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Unless specifically stated, the inclusion of a Linked Website should not be construed as any endorsement, approval, recommendation or preference by us of the owners or operators of the Linked Website, or for any information, product or service referred to on the Linked Website.

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Man Therapy is a collaborative effort to give Australian men a resource to help them with any problem that life sends their way, something to set them straight on the realities of anxiety, depression and suicide, and in the end, a tool to help put a stop to the suicide deaths of so many of our men.

beyondblue is pleased to acknowledge the funding from the Australian Government, our creative partners, Marmalade and our research partners, Hall & Partners | Open Mind, in bringing Dr Brian Ironwood to life.

And most of all beyondblue would like to thank Dr Brian Ironwood's great mate, Dr Rich Mahogany, and the original creators of Man Therapy in the US, Cactus, the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, and the Carson J Spencer Foundation.

Beyond Blue

Man Therapy Mission

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The social norms of masculinity play an important role in the gender differences of suicide. Men have a greater tendency not to recognise or respond to their own negative emotions or distress, partly due to the stigma associated with 'mental health', which in turn may result in clinical depression. Through tackling the rate of depression and anxiety in men, and reducing stigma, facilitating a change in men's behaviour and challenging perceptions of masculinity, beyondblue believes that a reduction in the male suicide rate can be achieved in the medium to long term.

beyondblue encourages all men to take action against depression and anxiety, through:

  • learning and understanding the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • recognising anxiety and depression are serious health problems that impact on physical health
  • learning about the experiences of others, and challenging your perceptions of anxiety and depression
  • taking action through a range of lifestyle changes and treatment options, earlier rather than later, when you are experiencing signs and symptoms
  • empowering others to learn more and take action

This website is a toolkit, enabling you to learn more, providing you strategies designed to protect your wellbeing and to guide you to professional treatment if/when you require support.

The process of taking action and seeking support is not only courageous, but a responsible course of action, for which you hold the key. Through a collaborative effort of your family, friends, colleagues and health professionals, taking appropriate action to tackle your symptoms of depression and anxiety can result in significant improvements in your health and wellbeing, and therefore your capacity to support your family and social networks, and to perform at your maximum capacity in life.

Download the rationale behind Man Therapy

Worried About Someone?

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Man Therapy is designed to get blokes to take practical action to take charge of depression and/or anxiety, and to combat suicidal thoughts.

But it also can be a valuable resource for their mates or loved ones. If you're here because you're worried about a partner or mate, you've come to the right place.

Get started by taking the Man Quiz with your mate in mind. This will give you an idea of areas in the office to explore.

You can also share Man Therapy with anyone, at any time. Click the share button to send a pre-written message or personalised note.


Support Options

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If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

Helplines can be busy. If you can't get straight onto a counsellor it may be because they are answering other calls. So be patient, put the phone on speaker and sit back and take a deep breath, or several.


phone 1300 22 2638
phone Email or
phone chat to us online

beyondblue offers support and information to all Australians, regardless of their age, gender or background.

Last year, over 70,000 Australians contacted us for support. Many were seeking advice or information, and others simply wanted to talk through their concerns with another.

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing depression or anxiety, there are three ways to contact us - call, email or chat to us online. All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Although we may ask for your first name, let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

We acknowledge Movember's proud support of the beyondblue Support service.

phone1300 22 2638

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call and we'll be there to listen, offer advice and point you in the right direction (for the cost of a local call, could be more from mobiles).

phone Email

Send us an email and you'll hear back from one of our trained mental health professionals within 24 hours.

phone Chat to us online

Sometimes you may not feel like talking on the phone, so why not chat to us online? We're online from 4pm to 10pm (AEST) every day.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

13 11 14 is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7. Online crisis chat is also available every evening from 8 pm to 12 midnight (AEST).

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

The Suicide Call Back Service is a 24-hour, nationwide service that provides telephone counselling to people 18 years and over.

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

A telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

Counselling Online 1800 888 236

A free, national 24-7 counselling service for people using alcohol and drugs, their family members and friends. Phone and online counselling provided.


For other Support Options, please go to the Other Resources Section located under Man Facts in this website

Health Professionals – Practitioner Directory

Find your nearest health professional by clicking through to beyondblue's Practitioner Directory.

Practitioner Directory

beyondblue Support service

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If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000

beyondblue offers support and information to all Australians, regardless of their age, gender or background.

Last year, over 70,000 Australians contacted us for support. Many were seeking advice or information, and others simply wanted to talk through their concerns with another.

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing depression or anxiety, there are three ways to contact us - call, email or chat to us online. All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Although we may ask for your first name, let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

phone 1300 22 2638
phone Email or
phone chat to us online

beyondblue Support service

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phone Call 1300 22 2638

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Give us a call any time of the day or night, and we'll be there to listen, offer advice and point you in the right direction (for the cost of a local call, could be more from mobiles).

Emergency and crisis support

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If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

Otherwise, if you’d prefer to talk to someone NOW, call the beyondblue Support service on 1300 22 2638. We’re available 24 hours a day by phone – it’s always a good time to call.

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Whether it's for your manly self, or just a man in your life, let DR Ironwood tell you what Man Therapy's all about.

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DR Ironwood will show you around his office of manliness.

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Dr Ironwood helps distinguish the difference between health professionals. Because let’s face it, men can’t fix everything themselves.

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Dr Ironwood shows you how to use his man therapies to show depression and anxiety who’s boss.

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Dr Ironwood introduces you to six heroic men, who heroically overcame anxiety and depression.

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Man Therapy is where men come to talk to men. Dr Ironwood will tell you what it’s all about, regardless if you ask or not.

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The most important thing you can do today is to take my Mind Quiz. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

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Dr Ironwood lets you know all the kinds of solid man facts you can find in his shed.


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Share with a friend

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Email your son, husband, brother, or even your uncle’s brother’s sons’ best mate!

Crisis and Emergency Services

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If you need to talk to someone now use the Red Flare to contact Lifeline or the Suicide Call Back Service, and in an emergency contact 000.

Ipsos User Survey

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Dear user,

beyondblue and Ipsos Social Research Institute are currently conducting research into Man Therapy. As part of this research, we are hoping to find out about website users’ experiences of in a ten minute online survey that can be completed at a time of your convenience. This survey does not contain any questions that require you to provide identifiable information, and results of the survey will be aggregated and not reported individually.

If you are willing to participate in this survey, please click the link below and you will be redirected to the Ipsos website.

Click here to open the Ipsos Survey

Yours sincerely,

beyondblue and Ipsos SRI

Please note:Ipsos SRI does not collect information about users visiting the site and does not use cookies to track their activities. No information is collected except that which is specifically inputted by users who are filling out a survey.

Your email address will only be used to send you your survey invitation. Your email address will not be passed on to beyondblue or any third party and will not be linked to your survey responses in any way.

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Evaluation Form

After reading, or at least skimming, your results, how likely are you to use these techniques?

I'm definitely going to use those techniques
I'll probably try them
I'll try them if I remember
No, I'm not going to use the techniques

Quiz Disclaimer

Don't worry. Dr Ironwood keeps your results completely private, no one but you has access to your results. It's a man thing.

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Question 1

Did you know koalas sleep over 18 hours a day? Lazy little bastards. Tell me about your sleep habits.

I sleep no longer than 7-8 hours a night and I don't nap during the day
I sleep no longer than 10 hours in a 24-hour period including naps
I sleep no longer than 12 hours in a 24-hour period including naps
I sleep longer than 12 hours in a 24-hour period including naps

Question 2

Falling asleep can be hard when you're wound up or pissed off-no matter how many sheep you count or foreign films you watch. How long does it take you to fall asleep?

I never take longer than 30 minutes
I take at least 30 minutes, less than half of the time
I take at least 30 minutes, more than half of the time
I take more than 60 minutes, more than half of the time

Question 3

Feeling sad is a normal part of life. Like when your team loses the big game or your mum tells you that Bluey didn't go to that "farm" after all. How often do you feel sad, down, blue, hopeless or depressed?

Less than half the time
More than half the time
Nearly all the time

Question 4

They say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I say the best way to understanding the state of a man's mind fitness is also through his stomach. How has your appetite been?

There is no change in my usual appetite
I occasionally eat more or less than usual
I eat much more or much less than usual
I rarely eat within a 24-hour period or I feel the need to overeat at every meal

Question 5

Life is like choosing an entree at a top notch steak restaurant - you must be able to make sound decisions to ensure the happiest ending. How is your ability to concentrate and make decisions?

There is no change in my ability to concentrate or make decisions
I occasionally feel indecisive or find my attention wandering
I struggle to focus my attention or make decisions most of the time
I cannot concentrate well enough to read and/or I can't even make minor decisions

Question 6

Whether you call it self-confidence, bravado or swagger, a healthy self-image is an important trait for every man to possess. How do you view yourself?

I see myself as equally worthwhile and deserving as other people
I am more self-blaming than usual
I largely believe that I cause problems for others
I think almost constantly about major and minor defects in myself

Question 7

Your death and/or suicide. Do you think of them?

I do not
I feel that life is empty
I think of suicide or my death several times a week for several minutes
I have made specific plans for suicide or I have actually attempted to take my life

Question 8

One of the activities that really gets my blood pumping is golf bag collection. When doing your favourite hobbies and activities, do you enjoy them as much as you used to?

I enjoy them as much as I usually do
I try to enjoy them, but I don't as much as I used to
I enjoy them, if I'm drunk
I don't enjoy them at all

Question 9

Whether you're a social butterfly or more of a caterpillar, spending time with family, friends and co-workers is important for every guy. How do you enjoy the company of others?

I enjoy socialising as much as I usually do
I notice that I am less interested in socialising with other people
I find I have interest in being around only a select few people
I have virtually no interest in being around people

Question 10

Let's face it, as most of us get older, we aren't the stallions we once were. But shagging is an important part of life. What do you think about sex?

I enjoy it as much as I usually do
I enjoy it on occasion
I only do it when I'm in the mood, which is like once or twice a year
I am basically celibate

Question 11

Life is full of annoyances-like ATM queues, football umpires and telemarketers. On occasion, these annoyances can turn into anger. How easily are you angered?

Not easily, I am able to control my temper
Some things make me angry, but my temper is generally under control
I don't always show my anger, but if I do - watch out
I fly off the handle easily

Question 12

When angry, some men say things they later regret. In fact, the Greek philosopher Socrates referred to this affliction as mouth diarrhea. When angry, do you ever say things you regret?

No, I don't say things I later regret when angry
On occasion, I say things I regret when angry, but I usually apologise immediately after
Yes, I often blurt out things I later regret
Yes, in fact, I get so angry I rarely remember what I've said

Question 13

Some men punch stuff when angry. And while it may make them feel better for a moment, the wall or face on the receiving end usually does not. How often do you get violent when angry?

I rarely become angry, let alone violent
I get angry every once in a while, but I don't usually get violent
On occasion, I have been known to punch a wall or break something when angry
Often I get so angry that I become physically violent toward others

Question 14

Many things can cause anxiety, such as a big work presentation, watching your team in a tight match or when you're stuck in traffic. How often do you feel worried, anxious or stressed out?

Not at all
1 or 2 times per week
3 or 4 times per week
Nearly every day

Question 15

Unless you're Nostradamus, a fortune teller or happen to own a crystal ball, life is unpredictable. And because of this, it can be easy to worry about the future. How often do you worry?

Not at all
On occasion, maybe once or twice a week
Quite often, I am bothered by worrying more than 3 or 4 days per week
All the time, I cannot stop or control my worrying

Question 16

In Australia, drinking is the time-honoured way for blokes to unwind after a hard day's work. Getting totally maggoted, however, is not. How much do you drink?

I don't drink or have fewer than 1 or 2 drinks per night
3-4 drinks per night
5-6 drinks per night
6 or more drinks per night

Question 17

How often do you use drugs to get high? Come on now, answer truthfully. I'm not an undercover cop and what gets answered in the quiz, stays in the quiz.

Once a month
Once a week

Question 18

Whether it's a lifestyle change, for your health or it's the last chance with the missus, lots of guys have tried to quit boozing and using. Have you ever tried to give up drugs or alcohol?

No, my alcohol and drug use is non-existent or very minimal
Yes, I was able to curb my drinking and/or drug use for period of time
Yes I have tried, but I was unable to stop drinking or using drugs
No, not only do I not want to stop, I don't think I would be able to
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Evaluation Form

From one man with or without a moustache to another man with an amazing moustache, what are the chances you actually use one of my strategies to better your mental health?

I don't think these will help me
I may give some a shot
I will definitely not use these
I'm definitely going to use the strategies
I'm doing fine and don't need to work on my mental health

D.I.Y. Health

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A|B|C| D|E|F| G|H|I| J|K|L| M|N|O| P|Q|R| S|T|U| V|W|X| Y|Z

The D.I.Y. Guide to maintaining mind fitness and emotional health

The problem with most gyms is they're too expensive and pretty boring, so it's not long before you stop going and your feet haven't even hit the treadmill. However, when it comes to getting your mind fit, I have created a gym that's free, fun and will have you doing one-finger mind push-ups in no time. Come on, give my D.I.Y. Therapies a go. And when I say D.I.Y., you won't find any smart arse TV presenter types brandishing cordless drills. These are simple activities you can do by yourself to promote your mental health and defend against depression, anger and stress.


Adopt a dog

Did you know that dog ownership could reduce stress, cholesterol, blood pressure and feelings of loneliness? Four more reasons dogs are man's best friend

Adrenalin Rush

Hang gliding, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, kite-surfing, jet fighter plane rides, bungy jumping, hot-air ballooning, sky diving, diving with sharks, white water rafting, abseiling, rock climbing, mountain biking and race cars - take your pick, they're all available in locations all over Australia.


Traditional aromatherapy uses scented essential oils to alter moods and behaviour. The man therapy version is simpler. Fire up the BBQ, throw on a few juicy steaks and sniff. You'll feel better (and hungrier) in no time


You don't have to be Picasso or Michelangelo to enjoy the stress reducing, mind stimulation of creating art. Doodle in a notebook, start taking photos with your smartphone, head to the beach and build a sand castle (maybe with your kids, or chidren you know), or mow your team's mascot into your lawn.


Grab yourself a telescope and look to the stars. Well, not just the stars, try checking out Mars, Jupiter and even the bright side of the moon.



Australia is literally surrounded by beaches so get the dog (see "Adopt a Dog" above) and hit the beach. Or maybe you could impress your fellow beach goers with 1:1000 scale sand replica of Warnie.

Bird watching

There's something oddly relaxing about watching our tiny feathered friends go bananas over a bit of birdseed.


Ten Pin Bowling is a great way to get out of the house and relieve some stress. Hey, it worked for Fred & Barney didn't it?


Those TV Finance guys make balancing a budget look easy. You know what, it really ain't that hard. Nothing is more stressful than struggling financially. By making a budget and spending responsibly you can avoid the nerve-wrecking money issues that plague so many men.


Whether you scale Mt. Kosciuszko or do the two-kilometre loop at your nearest National Park, hiking is a great way to enjoy nature and get some exercise.



Men weren't meant to sleep in feather beds, under pre-fabricated roofs. Men were meant to eat food out of a can, drink billy tea, tell jokes around the fire and fall asleep under the stars.


If you're over sleeping under the stars, do all of the above except rather than sliding into a swag, settle into the caravan for the night.


You don't have to be a bloody super genius to enjoy a game of chess. Just sit down over a board with a mate or family member and experience the positive effects playing can have on your life.


Spend a season, turning a bunch of loveable young losers into premiership contenders. Or at least teach them how to kick the bloody ball properly.


You've always wanted to learn how to cook something a little more complex than spag bol. Now is the time. Cooking can be a great new hobby that will aid in any fight against stress, sadness or anger.


Go to a service. No matter which religion you choose, you'll find that thinking about spirituality in the company of others can be extremely relieving and uplifting.

Community Group

You'll be surprised just how good you can feel when you give back to your community. Whether it's joining Rotary, the Lions Club, or manning the BBQ at the local school fete, connecting with the community has really positive effects on your mental wellbeing.


Some say cricket is boring. I say it's relaxing. Plus, the pre-bowling stretches are one of the only acceptable ways to do yoga in front of your friends.


Like any physical activity, cycling is great for the health of your mind. Next time you're feeling down, stressed or pissed off, jump on the treadlie and pedal around the block for an hour. You will feel better.



Whether you take ballroom dance lessons with your significant other or you strip down to your boxers and do the chicken dance, dancing is a good way to blow off steam and get some exercise.


Make a birdhouse, a treehouse, a doghouse or even a dodgy spice rack. Hell, just nail some pieces of wood together. I don't care what you make, just make something.

Drink water

Whoever invented water deserves the universe's largest trophy. Simply drinking 8 or more glasses a day of this miraculous fluid can help reduce stress and combat depression.

Drink alcohol in moderation

Listen, I'm not saying you should start a personal prohibition. Just drink two beers instead of twelve.


Eat a healthy diet

Eating crappy food isn't just bad for your beach body when you don the Speedos -it's hard on your brain box. Try to eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. You'll start feeling better physically and mentally.


It's been shown that aerobic exercise can reduce stress, fight depression and promote a happy life outlook. There are thousands of ways for men to exercise. Zumba is not one of them.


Fantasy sports

You don't need a skerrick of athletic skill. All you need is a laptop and a lunch break, and you could be taking home some serious virtual hardware at the end of almost any sports season. You'll also earn some serious bragging rights!

Family history

Finding out your great, great, great, great grandfather was aboard the first fleet would be truly amazing. The fact he was the cook might be something to leave out when you tell all your mates. Looking back and discovering your family history is another great way to occupy the mind and help reduce stress.


If pharmaceutical companies could bottle the calming effects of simply setting forth in the tinny loaded up with the rods and an esky full of bait, they'd make a damn killing.

Flying Fox

There's a reason everyone and their grandmother has a crack at the Flying Fox on vacation. It's a great, and apparently quite safe way to get the blood flowing and the adrenaline pumping.



I can't endorse hopscotch and still keep my testicles. I can, however, tell you playing games promotes healthy brain function and is a great way to socialise in a relaxed competition.


Planting a vegetable garden can be a great way to deal with depression, stress and anger. It gets you outside, it's physical and you end up with something to put on the plate next to your steak.

Golf (play)

Considered the earliest form of Man Therapy, golf was invented in Scotland as a way for men to cope with the stress that comes with wearing a skirt.

Golf (watch)

Consider your insomnia cured.

Green Tea

Caffeine can contribute to anxiety. So consider replacing your afternoon espresso with green tea. It has lower caffeine content and plenty of anti-oxidants. Plus, its theanine content can help lower stress. Note: Melburnians can skip this and move on.

Guided Imagery

You could close your eyes and picture yourself standing in a cool mountain stream. Or you could get a fly rod and actually do it. Either way, the calming effects are powerful.


Help another guy with a problem

You have somewhere between 20 to 65 years of life experience. Why not put all that wisdom to use by sharing with someone else who needs help?


Getting away from the daily grind for a few days allows you to replenish and rejuvenate your mind - so long as those days do not involve interacting with in-laws or attending a conference at the hotel airport.

Household projects

Finishing household projects are a great way to stay active and feel a sense of accomplishment. You can build something, fix something, demolish something, paint something, saw something or do something else.


Ice Cream

There's a reason women always drown their sorrows in a pint of ice cream. It's bloody delicious and it bloody works. So get off your bum, head down to the local ice cream shop for a scoop and turn that frown into a toothy grin.


It's my professional recommendation that you and your partner start shagging like rabbits. It feels good. It's good for your relationship. And it's great for your mental health.


Jet Skiing

Men and fast moving vehicles go together like meat pies and tomato sauce. Jet skis are an exciting way to relieve stress and experience nature.


No one is asking you to be the next Bill Shakespeare. But just writing a simple entry once in a while can make you less stressed, increase self-esteem and improve your relationships. Hey, you might even try doing your own blog on that ol' interweb thingy.


Sure, it might seem pretty stupid to run in a big circle. But along with shrinking that gut of yours, jogging also boosts your attitude, relieves stress and builds confidence



Singing karaoke makes you feel good and is a great way to socialise with friends. And don't let anyone tell you that singing is unmanly. Frank Sinatra was a singer and I'll defy anyone in the mouth who questions his manhood.


Learn to smash a piece of plywood with your fist, while getting exercise, making friends and screaming "hi-ya" at the top of your lungs.


It's a good work out. It's an amazing thrill. And it's really fun to say.

Kick the footy

The age-old tradition of kicking the footy, either with some kids you know or your mates, is one of the easiest ways to get some exercise as well as pretend you're the star player streaming down the field to attain lifelong glory from the cheering fans!


You know that old expression, "Go fly a kite"? Well, it's a pretty good idea, especially if you're looking to add some flying action to your next walk. Better still, attach yourself and go kite surfing!



Whether it's at the expense of your idiot mate, your favourite movie or some guy at the local Comedy Lounge, studies show laughing decreases your stress hormones and improves your creativity.

Lawn bowls

You don't have to wait until you retire to hit your local Bowls Club. In fact, plenty of clubs now have social "bare feet bowls" and learners sessions, so don your best white hat and get out there.

Learn something new

Learning new things makes you more confident, adaptable and widens your perspective. Plus your smart-ass kid won't seem so smart anymore will he?

Listen to music

Your brain is kind of like a lady. Throw on a smooth jam and feel how quickly it relaxes and slips into something more comfortable.

Listen to soothing noises

See watching golf. Or if golf is not your thing, try listening whale noises.



The benefits of having sex is not limited to sex with a partner.

Mates' night out

A boys' night is no longer just about getting boozed up with mates. It's about bonding, talking about the stuff that's bugging you and getting away from the stress of life.


Studies show meditation can reduce stress, help put you in control of your thoughts, help you find a purpose in life and bring peace of mind. And if it doesn't work for you, at least you'll have yourself a nice nap.

Mix Tape

Alright, who can't say they haven't at some stage had the urge to get behind the turntables and be a DJ Hero at a mate's wedding? Well, the first step is to make a mix tape. Why not start by digging through your crates of old 80's classics. Wearing your baseball cap backwards is optional.

Mow the lawn

Mowing that pesky grass in your backyard is like combining meditation with petrol engines. It's mind blowing.



Need to recharge the batteries? Take a quick nap. If you're behind the wheel remember to pull over first.



No, it's not a new space station. Studies have shown that eating fish rich with Omega-3s promotes brain health. The same studies have also shown that eating fish rich with Omega-3s is delicious.


Play pool

Playing pool or snooker and hell, even pinball and space invaders enhances focus and boosts self esteem.


Putting together a jigsaw puzzle is an extremely underrated activity. Nothing is more mentally stimulating and enjoyably frustrating than digging through a pile of tiny puzzle pieces in search of the one you need. And if puzzles aren't your thing try tackling the Sudoku in the newspaper.


Now that every smartphone has a camera you've no excuses not to start snapping away. Better still, drag the digital camera from out the back of the wardrobe and hit the streets. Set yourself a project and start giving that ol' shutter button a workout!


Quit smoking

Along with the obvious benefits to your lungs, teeth, and heart, quitting smoking can also lead to less stress, more energy and even better sex.

Quiet time

Our ears are constantly bombarded by noise. One moment it's the TV on full blast. The next it's the loud teenage girl on the train chin wagging to her girlfriend on the mobile. It can be too much to take. It's important for your sanity to spend 15 to 30 minutes in the quiet, every day.



Volunteer at your local community radio station. There's lots of ways you can contribute, from engineering, administration to on-air shifts. Ask any shock jock and they'll tell how good it feels to let off some steam!


Reading can be a great way to escape the stress of your daily life. For some guys reading can be hard work. So consider it a work out for your right brain. Remember, ladies love a big right brain.

Reduce caffeine intake

Next time instead of grabbing that double espresso in the morning, reach for an apple. Apples have the same wakening effect without the anxiety-inducing side effects of caffeine.

Remote control stuff

If you don't happen to be a jet pilot or Formula 1 driver you can always do the next best thing, remote control race cars and planes. It's heaps of fun and compared to the real thing the consequences of a little crash usually only requires some gaffer tape.

Rest and relaxation

Stressed out? Pissed off? I think the proper course of action for you, medically speaking of course, is to take a hefty dose of chill pills.


Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress and cope with bad days. What better hobby than building and launching model rockets? Best case it ends up in the stratosphere. Worst case it blows up before take off. Win-win.

Rock Climbing

Indoor or outdoor rock climbing is an extremely badass way to stay in tip-top mental shape. You'll challenge yourself physically, overcome that fear of heights and feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when you reach the top.


See a movie

There's nothing like the smell of freshly popped popcorn, the taste of overpriced soft drinks and the cool, dark setting of a cinema to take your mind off a stressful day.


Men are meant to spend time in the shed, it's as simple as that. It's the place where you can do stuff. What that "stuff" is doesn't matter so long as you tinker, potter or tool around for a while. Don't have a shed? Hey, go and build one. (See "shopping" below). Also, check out your local Men's Shed or The Shed Online.


We're not talking shopping malls here, we're talking real shops. Hardware, camping, boating, adventure gear. Get all the materials to build that shed, pick up a new fishing rod or equip yourself for the next big trek into the mountains.


Your very own version of Predator, except all you have to fight the enemy with is a gun loaded with paint pellets. If there's a better stress relief on this planet I'd like to hear about it!


When men burn the candle at both ends, the candle can quickly turn into a stick of mental dynamite. Make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed in the morning and to stave off mental and physical illness.


Unless you're a vampire, getting outside and under that hot ball of fire can be quite good for you. It puts you in a better mood and enriches your body with vitamin-D.


Swimming can be a fun way to get outside, get some exercise and reduce stress. No wonder dolphins always look so damn happy.


Take the stairs

Ditch the elevator and hoof over to the stairs and into a happier, more mentally healthy life.

Time management

The pressures of deadlines are an unfortunate part of every man's life. Proper time management can help to alleviate some of that.

Tinkering with your car

The green light is on, gentlemen, start your tinkering! Simply lift the bonnet and have tinker. Change the oil, change the spark plugs, try and find out where the damn spark plugs are! A little D.I.Y. car maintenance goes a long way to helping you feel better and less stressed.

Turn off the TV

Watching episode after episode of a reality show about home renovating will not actually turn your brain in to mush. But the effects on your mental and physical health are pretty damn close. Pick up one of the dozens of activities listed here instead.


Ultimate Frisbee

You don't have to have dreadlocks and a tie-dyed shirt to play ultimate. It does help, however, to know how to throw a Frisbee.


According to research, the ukulele is the happiest instrument in the world. Its strings sound like a vacation and its tiny shape can bring a smile to the face of any man–no matter how sour his mood.


Video games

Video games are a great way to stimulate your mind, improve self-confidence and blow aliens to smithereens.


Your body is a temple. Your mind is the ancient relic stashed away deep inside of it. And daily vitamins are a simple way to keep any temple raiders from breaking in and stealing your mental health.


Your mother was right. Helping others really does make you feel better. There is so much you can offer, and so many in need.



Men need more exercise than walking to the fridge to get out a piece of cold pizza. Walking is a relaxing way to get exercise and spend time outside and all you need is 30 minutes to an hour.

Wash your sheets

The process of cleaning has been proven to relieve stress, improve concentration, and is an excellent outlet for anger. Plus it gets rid of the leftover crumbs from that late night binge you went on last week.

Watch sports

When a monkey watches his mother open a nut with a rock, he learns to do the same. Get inspired through watching some sport, just don't become a couch potato.


You don't have to be a geek to build a website or start a blog, there are loads of D.I.Y. Web software programs out there so why not share your stories and experiences in your own inimitable style!

Work out

Nothing wrong with dusting off the old barbells and spending some time getting back into shape. Plus, weight lifting releases chemicals in the body that'll make you feel good and improve your self-esteem.


Xtreme sports

Avoid them. If you have never skateboarded, snowboarded or BMX biked before, don't start now. Grown men on skateboards, usually end up grown men with sore backs and bruised ass-bones.



Gentlemen, yoga is no longer just for your brother-in-law, 'River', and his hippie friends at the farmers market. Yoga provides a great way for regular guys like us to get in shape while releasing stress and anxiety.


Zombie walk

What could be a better way to hang out with mates than by dressing up like a zombie and invading a major metro area? Do a quick Google search and you'll find a scary amount of Zombie Walks and Zombie Shuffles happening around Australia.

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Discussion Forum

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No singalongs. No awkward group hugs. No soothing ocean noises. Just real man-to-man conversation.

Loneliness comes in many forms. A bit like this new craze of artisan doughnuts. And men experience loneliness more than women.  It is not just guys living alone who experience loneliness, though many do. Many men living at home with their partner and children experience loneliness.

A majority of us have to work hard to ensure our family is provided for, and this means making sacrifices – basically, we can’t catch up with our mates like we did when we were younger.

However, that connection with our mates was critical to our wellbeing, both our physical and emotional wellbeing.  Guys need that opportunity to chat, to connect with mates and share our experiences around the occasional doughnut.

DIY Community

We DIY just about everything these days. Like DIY beer and my personal favourite, DIY shoe resoling. My DIY Health section has a heap of suggestions about ways to connect with others.  Here is a recap on a few of the best ones:

  • Community Group – You’ll be surprised just how good you can feel when you give back to your community. Whether it’s joining Rotary, the Lions Club, or manning the BBQ at the local school fete, connecting with the community has really positive effects on your mental wellbeing and BBQ skills.
  • Mates’ night out – A boys’ night is no longer just about getting boozed up with mates. It’s about bonding, talking about the stuff that’s bugging you and getting away from the stress of life.
  • Help another guy with a problem – You have somewhere between 20 to 65 years of man experience. Why not put all that pent-up wisdom to use by sharing with someone else who needs help?

And any recreational group activity will provide you the space and time to connect with others.  So read through the rest of this stuff, and then head back over DIY Health or Recreational Activities to chisel a list of what you are going to do onto the biggest stone you can find that will still fit into your triple stitched denim jeans back pocket.


We can’t all be the life of the party and full of bravado. I sometimes feel the need to just sit quietly and contemplate the next platter of miniature party pies.

Many of us experience shyness through to social phobia, which is experienced though symptoms like shortness of breath, butterflies in the stomach, and sweating, negative thought patterns and intense worry, through to being quiet in social situations, or drinking too much in an attempt to lower your nerves.

There are a whole range of experiences that are different for everyone, but there are a range of things you can try:

  • Challenging negative thoughts, by firstly identifying them, and logically evaluating them
  • Learn to control your breathing, because learning to slow your breathing can help you bring the physical symptoms under control
  • Face your fears – one step at a time, because the more you avoid things, the more scary they can become.  The key is to start with a situation that you can handle and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations, building your confidence and coping skills.

These suggestions are some first steps only, so do some research into what might work for you, and practice them regularly.  Be patient and practice.

If you are not experiencing any improvements, head over to my Health Professionals section, because those guys and girls should be able to work with you so you can take control and get your social mojo back.


Under my DIY Health section there are heaps of suggestions on things you can do to learn more about yourself and others. The other day I found out a mate of mine spoke fluent Klingon.

Setting a goal, no matter how small, and achieving it, is a great stepping stone to reducing the impact of anxiety and depression.

Joining a class, for example, not only enables you to meet new people, but to develop a new set of skills – new skills with which you never know what you might be able to achieve.

So head back over to my DIY Health section and see if there is something that interests you.



One of the great things about being a man is our capacity to help others. Like the time I pulled some guys lost sneaker from a well.

And as I mentioned before, you probably have somewhere between 20 and 65 years’ worth of man experience to pass onto others.

Volunteering, in particular, has some really positive effects on your mental health, because volunteering enables you to:

  • help others
  • meet new people
  • build new skills
  • experience new challenges
  • build up work experience
  • share previous experience
  • gain new confidence

Some of you might not be ready to do this straight away, but if you are working through the other stuff I have recommended through Man Therapy, I would put volunteering on the list of goals to achieve.  You don’t know who you might meet, how you might be able to help them, and how they might be able to support you.


I love a good yarn. Especially the one used in my cable knit jumper. One of the best ways to learn about how to cope with life events, and their impacts, is to learn from others.  My Tales of Triumph section is loaded with some great stories.  And while they provide great inspiration, you can’t talk to these particular guys directly.

So grab a cuppa, click on the link below and join another group of blokes and see what they are saying about their experiences with depression and anxiety.  If you want, you can just observe for now, and when you’re ready, sign-in and join the conversation.


If you are an older guy looking to chat with others, my mates at beyondblue have another discussion group, just for older guys, at The Shed Online.  Have a google for that and start flapping those manly gums.


Now if you have a mate who you reckon could do with a bit of man therapy there’s a couple of things you could do. You could, during a quiet period of the game, put your arm around him and say that you’ve been worried about him and that the two of you should sit down over a green tea and have a chat.

Or, an easy way would be to send him a text message, like I describe in my video here, and point him in the direction of my website.

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Recreational Pursuits

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Exercise, mateship, sweating, winning, and/or hoisting championship trophies.

There's no better way to release anger than by whacking an almighty six over the mid wicket boundary. There's no better way to reduce stress than by running the length of the field to score a try. And there's no better way to feel better than by drinking in the sweet nectar of victory. So regardless of whether you're into kicking, throwing, bowling or hitting balls, we've got a huge list of recreational sports leagues and clubs for all abilities in your area. Start a team with some mates or join as a free agent.

Good Sports

A great way to get you and your family involved in recreational pursuits is through a sporting club registered with Good Sports.

Good Sports clubs work collaboratively to make community sporting clubs healthier and safer places, through

  • promoting a culture of responsible drinking in community sporting clubs
  • reducing alcohol-related problems such as aggression and drink driving
  • encouraging club members to take action against depression and anxiety if they are experiencing the signs and symptoms
  • increasing the financial viability and positive social impact of sporting clubs in their communities

Good Sports is working with more than 5,000 clubs across 72 different sports throughout Australia with around 60 additional clubs joining the program each month. With an average of over 250 members per club, Good Sports touches the lives of more than 1.5 million Australians who care about their sport, families and communities.

Most popular sports

Top 10 Participant Sports by Men in Australia, 2011-12

Activity Links
Walking for exercise Take a wander to this site
Fitness/Gym Feel better and look better too
Cycling/BMXing Get on your bike here
Jogging/Running Fit mind, fit body
Golf Swing into action here
Swimming/Diving Relax your body and your mind
Tennis Grab a partner and have a whack
Soccer The world's favourite game might be yours too
Cricket We've all played it in the backyard, why not join a club
Basketball Shoot hoops and shoot down your stress levels

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2011-12, December 2012

Health Professionals

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Because contrary to popular belief men can't fix everything themselves.

Men are wired to try to fix problems on their own. Instead of calling a plumber, they use super glue to plug a leak. Instead of calling an electrician, they use duct tape to fix a broken switch.

And instead of calling a health professional, they use alcohol or undertake reckless activities to deal with health issues. Or they keep their head in the sand.

Stop treating your brain like a leaky toilet or a flickering light bulb. Start seeking professional help when you need it. In this section, you'll find recommended professionals in your area.

What does that bloke do?

The thought of professional help often makes a man squirm like an earthworm on a rainy day. But it shouldn't. Health professionals can work with you on personal issues, thinking through tough decisions and bettering yourself and your life.

And don't forget, these guys are like girlfriends – you click with some of them and others, well, they just don't 'get you'. If you find after a session or two that your Health Professional just isn't 'doing it for you', then maybe you need to do a bit more research and find one that matches your needs.

General Practitioners

For most blokes a trip to the doctor is seen as a last resort, like when that dose of the Flu you've had for a week just won't go away or the injury you got playing football on Saturday is still hurting like hell the next week. Well that's not all they are there for. They're also there to talk to you about how you're feeling as well – like if you are anxious or depressed.

If you haven't seen a doctor since Greg Norman last won a major you might want to ask your mates if they are happy with their doctors and go with a recommendation.

Unfortunately, doctors are usually flat chat at the times of the day that are most convenient – like lunchtime or straight after work – so check your schedule to see if there's a time you can make. And before you go, make some notes about what you want to talk about. If you've taken my Mind Quiz make sure you've emailed that to yourself and take a copy with you.

Probably the first question your doctor will ask you will be a direct 'So what can I do for you?'

The most important thing a doctor can do is listen, so talk about the symptoms you've been experiencing, whether it be what's happening at home or work, how much you're sleeping, how much you're drinking/smoking and the events that have led to you feeling the way you are. Remember, like a good investigator, this is all part of collecting the evidence base the doctor needs to give you the best advice.

And don't forget, if you are regularly seeing a doctor, you should also chat to them about the following stuff, depending on your age and other personal situations:

20s, 30s & 40s 50 and over
Your family medical History All of those... plus
Chat about how you are feeling Blood tests – blood sugar and cholesterol
Blood pressure Prostate cancer testing
Skin cancer check Bowel cancer screening
Weight and physical activity Kidney health
Sexual health
Anything else

Counsellors and Psychologists

Unlike that one mate who can’t keep his mouths shut, conversations between you and your psychologist or counsellor are confidential.

For the record, a psychologist is a health professional with a specific range of qualifications – but they are not a doctor. A counsellor might work in a range of places, but are generally less qualified as psychologists. Anybody can call themselves a counsellor, but the good ones have proper qualifications, and are registered with a professional society – ask them before you book.

No matter whether you are seeing a psychologist or a qualified counsellor, it’s best to come to the session with a specific issue of concern and a goal in mind. You may be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire before your appointment. Appointments usually last an hour.

Therapy works best if you participate actively. Don’t be shy. You’re paying the therapist to listen, so tell him/her whatever is on your mind, and make the most of every visit.

Your therapist may give you homework between appointments. Since this isn’t high school, I recommend you actually do it.


Contrary to popular belief and all those Hollywood movies, psychiatrists don't wear white coats, sport pointy grey beards and have a leather couch in their office for you to lie on. Similar to a psychologist they are there to help lift some of that weight from your shoulders.

For the record, the key differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist has a medical degree which means they can combine medication with other forms of treatment.

Medications for depression and anxiety usually make people feel better, and they won't change your personality or make you feel happy all the time – they will make you yourself. Of course, like any medication, some people will have some side effects, but as long as you are talking openly with your psychiatrist these side effects can be minimised.

How much do these blokes cost?

The cost of seeing a health professional for depression and anxiety varies, but you shouldn't need to mortgage the house. In the same way that people can get a Medicare rebate when they see a General Practitioner, they can also get part or all of the consultation fee subsidised when they see a health professional for treatment of depression or anxiety.

Qualifying for these rebates is usually as simple as having had a Mental Health Treatment Plan drawn up by a GP, or in some instances via a referral from a psychiatrist. If you are unsure if you are eligible for subsidised treatment, check with your GP.

Also, there are many private health insurance companies and a range of coverage levels available. If you have private health cover, it is recommended that you contact your private health insurance company to find out if psychological services are covered and to what level.

It is important to recognise that professional treatment doesn't have to cost very much and can have lifelong benefits.

There are government rebates available to help pay part of the cost of psychological treatments undertaken with the mental health practitioners listed.

For more information, check

Download getting help - How much does it cost? fact sheet

What did that bloke prescribe?

What did that bloke prescribe?

The main medical treatment for people with moderate to severe depression is antidepressant medication.

There is a lot of misinformation about antidepressant medication and while there is no simple explanation as to how it works, it can be very useful in the treatment of moderate to severe depression (and some anxiety disorders).

An important thing to remember is that antidepressants are not "happy pills", rather they give you some space to take action.

Sometimes, antidepressants are prescribed when other treatments have not been successful or when psychological treatments are not possible due to the severity of the illness or a lack of access to the treatment.

Who can prescribe?

Only your General Practitioner or Psychiatrist can prescribe medications. Psychologists are not doctors, and so cannot prescribe medication.

Which antidepressant should be used?

Making a decision about which antidepressant is best for a person can be complex. The decision is made in consultation with a doctor, after careful assessment and consideration. You need to help your doctor by providing as much information as possible about yourself and your medical history. Important factors include your age, symptoms, and other medications.

Many different types of antidepressant medication have been shown to work, but their effectiveness differs from person to person. Antidepressants can up to a six weeks before they start to work, and it may also take some time for the doctor to find the most suitable medication and dosage.

What are the side effects?

Antidepressants can make people feel better, but they won't change their personality or make them feel happy all the time. Like taking any other medication, some people will experience some side effects. Common side effects, depending on which medication is taken, include nausea, headaches, anxiety, sweating, dizziness, agitation, weight gain, dry mouth and sexual difficulties (e.g. difficulty becoming/staying aroused).

Some of these symptoms can be short-lived, but people who experience any of these symptoms should tell their doctor, as there are ways of minimising them. The likelihood of a particular side effect happening varies between individuals and medications.

How long are antidepressants usually needed?

Like any medication, the length of time a person needs to take antidepressants for depends on how severe the illness is and how they respond to treatment. Some people only need to take them for a short time, while others may need to take them over the long term, just like someone with diabetes might use insulin or someone with asthma would use ventolin. Stopping antidepressant medication should only be done gradually, on a doctor's recommendation and under supervision.

Everyone needs to find the treatment that's right for them. Just because a treatment has been shown to work scientifically, doesn't mean it will work equally well for every individual. Some people will have complications, side effects or find that the treatment does not fit in with their lifestyle. It can take time, strength and patience to find a treatment that works.

After seeking appropriate advice, the best approach is to try a treatment you're comfortable with and one that works for most people. If you do not recover quickly enough, or experience problems with the treatment, discuss this with your health professional and consider trying another.

Types of antidepressants

There is a wide range of antidepressant medication available.

beyondblue factsheet 11 antidepressant medication

Where do I find these blokes?

Now you know what these blokes do, find your nearest health professional by clicking through to beyondblue's Practitioner Directory.

Practitioner Directory

That bloke is already helping me with a chronic illness. Do I need to talk about how I'm feeling too?

A sudden or unexpected health event – such as a heart attack, diagnosis of cancer, or other serious illness or injury - can change your life in many ways. Feelings of shock, anger, grief, loss and sadness are common, and usually pass with time. If changes to your life cause ongoing stress, however, you may be at greater risk of developing depression or anxiety.

What to watch for:

Most people recover or adjust to life after a serious health event without experiencing depression and anxiety. Others, however, can find their emotional wellbeing affected.

How you react emotionally to a serious health event depends on many things - including your age, personality, values, life experience, the type of health event that occurs, and the amount of support you have.

Common reactions that happen straight away can include shock, fear, disbelief and uncertainty. As you start coming to terms with your situation, you may feel other emotions, such as sadness, loss, grief, worry, anger, guilt, loneliness and wanting to blame someone or something for what has happened.


Along with the physical changes that result from a serious health event, it is also common to experience emotional and psychological reactions. Emotional challenges may include:

  • Coming to terms with 'Why me? What did I do to do deserve this?'
  • Being faced with your own mortality and thinking 'How serious is this? Am I going to die? What will happen to my family?'
  • Worrying that each minor ache or pain is the illness returning
  • Dealing with the uncertainty of the illness, feeling powerless and imagining the worst
  • Wondering where you fit now in both your professional and personal life
  • Adjusting to long-term changes to your lifestyle
  • Grieving for your loss of health or your life as it was before
  • Making family, work and financial adjustments
  • Dealing with the responses of partners, children, family and friends.

Some changes you face may be temporary, while others will be permanent and more difficult to deal with. A change that affects one person may not affect someone else in the same way.

With time, most people find that although their life has changed in some ways, in other ways it goes back to its usual pattern. However, if changes cause ongoing stress and worry, the person may be at greater risk of developing depression or anxiety.

What can I do?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether you are feeling down because of all the changes in your life, or if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both. In some cases, depression or anxiety can affect people after the initial experience and even beyond treatment.

If you're unsure if what you're feeling is a normal reaction to what is happening in your life, talk to your doctor, another health professional or a member of your health care team. By discussing your experiences with you, a health professional can help you to work out if you may be experiencing depression or anxiety, and whether you could benefit from additional advice or treatment.

Also, make sure you check out the rest of Man Therapy for some great ideas about the steps to take. Just make sure you chat to your professional team, particularly around exercise or other similar pursuits.

And remember to talk to others, spend time with people you make you feel good, and do stuff you used to enjoy, but also give yourself time to relax.

Download Chronic physical illness and depression fact sheet

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Guide to Mind Health

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You don't need to be a stealth Ninja to watch for the signs of why you may not feel on top of things.


Kryptonite to the manliest of male minds

Depression is a serious, yet treatable health condition that can affect any man, no matter how keen his D.I.Y. skills or Dennis Lillee-like his moustache. While depression is often associated with sadness and hopelessness, it often manifests itself in fits of rage, unnecessary risk taking and alcohol or drug abuse in men.

What to watch for:

Physical Emotional
Persistent pain Feeling guilty
Loss of energy Feeling angry and violent
Loss of sex drive Losing interest in hobbies
Changes in appetite Apathy
Lethargy Feeling sad or nervous
Exhaustion Feeling alone
Change in sleep patterns Taking unnecessary risks
Restlessness Thinking about death or suicide
Alcohol or drug abuse


Depression isn't the result of being a 'big girl's blouse', mama's boy or cry-baby.

A number of things can be associated with the development of depression, generally not from a single event, but from a mix of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors.

Recent Events Personal Factors

Life stressors such as:
Family conflict
Relationship problems
Poor working conditions
Limited social connectedness
Recent losses and disappointments
Drugs and alcohol use
Medical illness and treatments

Past bad experiences and trauma
High anxiety
Changes in chemicals in the brain
(such as serotonin and stress hormones)
Family disposition

What can I do?

Fortunately there is a lot you can do to fix depression. Depression is a highly treatable condition. In most cases it can be improved with a combination of lifestyle changes, professional therapy and medication.

Still it is believed that thousands of Australian men experiencing depression are going untreated. If you think you might have depression, it is important that you do something about it.

Don't let it defeat you without putting up a fight. Make sure you have been right through this site to investigate everything from what you can do yourself, through to talking with Health Professionals.


When a warrior becomes a worrier.

Everyday, anxiety disorders affect the ability of 1 in 5 men to live a normal, happy life. And I'm not just talking about the sweaty palms, stomach butterflies and urge to soil your jocks you get every time you have to speak in public or call your father-in-law. No, I'm talking about feelings of worry, stress, fear and impending doom so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and even get a decent night's sleep.

What to watch for:

Physical Emotional
Pounding heart
Excessive sweating
Choking sensations
Dizziness and vertigo
Shortness of breath
Hot flashes or chills
Insomnia and exhaustion
Panic attacks
Dreadful feelings
Concentration problems
Inner tension and nervousness
Catastrophic thinking
Irritability or edginess
Hyper vigilance toward danger
Fear of losing control


The exact causes of anxiety differ from man to man. For some men, anxiety might be triggered by a traumatic life event. For others, genetics or alcohol and drug use abuse could be the root cause. Stress, however, appears to play a major role in almost all anxiety sufferers. That's because stress can lead to an imbalance of anxiety regulating neurotransmitters (fancy word for brain chemicals), such as noradrenaline, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid. When these chemicals become out of whack, life-altering anxiety could be the result.

Types of Anxiety

General Anxiety Disorder - Sufferers experience excessive worry and tension-even if there is nothing rational to worry about.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - People suffering from PTSD experience long lasting memories of traumatic events, such as fighting a battle or being sexually assaulted. Their inability to escape these intense recollections makes them emotionally numb and anxious.

Social Anxiety Disorder - Social anxiety causes overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations and interactions.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - OCD causes the sufferer to experience constant anxiety and fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines.

Panic Disorder - Causes people to experience terror (panic attacks) suddenly and without warning. Symptoms can resemble a heart attack.

Specific Phobias - Sufferers have an intense, irrational fear of a specific object or situation.

Panic or Heart Attack

Some guys think that a panic attack is a heart attack, but there is a core difference:

  • Panic Attack: quick and rapid beating of the heart, often heard in the ears
  • Heart Attack: crushing internal pain

If you or your family have a history of heart problems, then it is best to see your General Practitioner after you have a panic attack to ensure it was not a heart attack. But if you are fit and healthy, then it was unlikely to have been a heart attack.

What can I do?

A lot of guys treat anxiety like they treat a dog begging for a pork chop. They ignore it and hope it goes away. Unfortunately this strategy rarely works. If left untreated, anxiety will not only get worse, it may lead to a bunch of other nasty mental and physical ailments, including heart disease. If your anxiety is relatively mild, you may be able to make some lifestyle changes to reduce your anxiety. See the Man Therapies section of my office for suggestions. If the anxiety is more severe, it is important that you reach out to a Health Professionals in your area.


Don't let stress make a mess

When we talk about being stressed, it usually means we're tense about something that's happening in our lives.

Stress is a normal part of daily life. It's a natural physical and mental response that is designed to help you cope effectively with emergencies.

Some stress can be a good thing. It can help us get motivated to get things done.

Stress makes your body produce chemicals that raise your heart rate and blood pressure and increase mental focus. This helps you to perform well in a challenging situation over a short period of time.

What to watch for

Physical Emotional
feeling sick in the stomach
having constipation or diarrhoea
having stomach aches and/or headaches
having problems sleeping
feeling constantly tired
sweating a lot
having cramps or twitches
feeling dizzy or fainting
eating too much or too little
using drugs or smoking.
feeling angry or irritable
feeling anxious
being moody and easily frustrated
feeling like crying regularly
having low self esteem or lacking confidence
feeling restless all the time
having trouble concentrating.


There are lots of different causes for stress. Things that affect one person may not be a problem for someone else. The important thing is to work out what's troubling you.

Generally, stress comes from feeling overburdened across a range of things in life:

Financial pressures
Relationship and family issues
Conflict in the workplace
Not having enough time, particularly if you have a long transit to work
Illness of self/others, or death of others
Feeling like things are out of control

The problems from stress happen when stress is regular and doesn't let up. The chemicals the body releases can build up and cause changes that damage your physical and mental health.

Stress is not the same as anxiety or depression - but for some people, being stressed for a long time can end up leading to anxiety and/or depression, plus impact your physical health, particularly your cardiovascular health.

What can I do?

All of our Man Therapies sections provide tips to help you to reduce and deal with stress in your life, but here are some of the key ones:

Sort out relationship problems

Stress in relationships - whether this is with a partner, friends, your teachers, your parents or other important people in your life - is a major cause of depression. You might want to talk to a counsellor or someone who can help you to work things out.

Take time out

Don't spend too much time worrying about things that are stressing you out. Take some time to do something distracting or something you enjoy, such as going out with friends, going to the gym or a yoga class, listening to music, playing sport or watching a movie.

Keep things balanced

Try to make sure you have a balance in your day between work and doing the things that you enjoy. This might mean learning to say 'no' more often so that you don't take on new things that will add to your to-do list, or your stress levels.

Get organised

Organise your time so your homework and assignments are not left to the last minute and avoid studying until late at night.


Physical activity such as swimming, walking, yoga, cycling, dancing or going to the gym can help reduce the tension in your muscles and your mind. Try to do some exercise every day, even if it's just walking around the block.

Relaxation exercises

Exercises that slow your breathing and relax your muscles can help with stress. Slow breathing (three seconds in, three seconds out) for five minutes can be a useful short-term coping strategy for when you're feeling stressed. Relaxing your muscles might help with aches and pains, fatigue, headaches and difficulty breathing. Try sitting in a comfortable and quiet room, then tense each group of muscles for 10 seconds and relax them for 10 seconds.

Don't wait for stress to get so bad that you start feeling depressed or helpless. Try to work out what is troubling you and then talk to someone who can help, be it family or friends, or a health professional.

Anger & rage

The storm before the calm.

Anger is the body's physiological reaction to danger or threats. It gives you the extra boost you need to conquer fears, take action and escape sticky situations. Anger is normal. Rage, on the other hand, is not. Rage is anger that isn't triggered by an actual threat. Instead, it's caused by an irrational thought, an unreasonable expectation, or in the case of one infamous Australian cricketer, a cyclist who crossed his path.

What to watch for:

Physical Emotional
Pounding heart
Muscle tension
Accelerated heartbeat
Changes in breathing
Body trembles
Flushed face
Clenched fists
Loss of control over trivial issues
Violent impulses
Inability to face reality
Jealousy and resentfulness
Low frustration tolerance
Unreasonable expectations
Suicidal tendencies
Melancholy and depression
Dominating behaviour


Anger is often caused by how men think and interpret situations. The following are four types of thinking that can cause irrational anger.

Emotional Reasoning - People who reason emotionally are prone to confusing their own feelings with fact. Because of this, they'll interpret an innocent conversation or event as an attack on them. This can lead to misplaced anger.

Low Frustration Tolerance - Many things can cause frustration tolerance to lower. It can be stress. It can be fatigue. It can be the mother of all hangovers. Regardless of the cause, a low frustration tolerance can lead us to interpreting normal things as threats to our well-being or ego.

Unreasonable Expectations - Men with unreasonable expectations expect the world to act how they want it to. If a person, or even an uncontrollable event, behaves differently than what's expected, it's easy for frustration and anger to set in.

People-Rating - People-rating is something we all do on occasion. When we label our boss an asshole or our brother-in-law an idiot, we are actually de-humanizing them and making it easier to get pissed off at them.


When you get angry, your brain triggers the release of cortisol, adrenaline and catecholamine into your blood stream. These chemicals give your heart the boost it needs to get you through dangerous situations. The effect of anger on the brain shares a similar intoxicating quality to methamphetamines. And like meth, if experienced too often anger can become addicting.

What can I do?

Rage is dangerous. Not only could you damage property or explode on another person, you are also a hazard to yourself. And I'm not just talking about bloody knuckles and black eyes. Excessive anger has been shown to raise blood pressure and even cause heart attacks. If you believe that you are dealing with dysfunctional anger, it's important that you seek professional help. A therapist will likely work with you to determine the source of your anger and provide you with behavioural techniques you can use to disarm the rage before you explode like a stick of dynamite.

Alcohol & drug use

The treacherous snake pit of substance misuse.

Drinking and experimenting with drugs has been firmly endorsed by male culture since the beginning of time. Guys drink. Guys smoke. Hell, some guys have even made a career out of boozing and using. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Charlie Sheen).

Unfortunately, guys also self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to cope with problems like depression, anxiety and rage. Often, this is when recreational use can turn into a serious problem.

What to watch for:

Physical Behavioural and Psychological
Bloodshot eyes
Changes in size of pupils
Deterioration of physical appearance
Unusual smells on breath
Slurred speech
Built-up tolerance
Using to avoid withdrawal symptoms
Neglecting responsibilities
Unexplained financial problems
Sudden changes in friends and hobbies
Frequent legal trouble
Change in personality or attitude
Sudden mood swings
Periods of hyperactivity or giddiness
Anxiety, paranoia and fear
Problems in relationships


Weaknesses, character flaws or the inability of a man to handle his booze doesn't cause drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction is a disease caused by repeatedly using intoxicating substances. When smoked or snorted, ingested or injected, these substances trigger the release of "happy chemicals" (dopamine) in your brain. This substance induced happiness-or "high"-has a numbing effect that temporarily makes the user feel better. This is why men often get drunk or high to cope with problems, such as depression from divorce or anxiety from work.


The effects of substance abuse on your brain are as ugly as an 80-year old fat man in lycra. Aside from head-pounding hangovers, repeated use will actually alter the way your brain looks and functions. These changes interfere with your ability to make sound decisions, think clearly, control your behaviour and even feel normal without drugs and alcohol.

What can I do?

The steps you should take toward controlling your substance use depend on how serious your problem is.

Mild to Moderate Misuse: Most guys who use alcohol and drugs, never become addicts or need to go to rehab. Their use, however, may still be enough to lead to negative life and mental health consequences. If you go on regular benders or use booze and drugs to self-medicate, its time to change your habits. Cut back on your use and, if necessary, stop hanging around your buddies who are bad influences.

Heavy Abuse or Addiction: The first step to dealing with addiction is admitting you are an addict and you need help. It's estimated that more than 90% of addicts never take this first step and get the treatment they need. Fortunately, addiction is highly treatable. It's time for you to escape from the shackles of drugs and alcohol. Visit the Other Resources section of my office to contact someone to talk to or find a rehabilitation service in your area.

Man FAQs

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There's nothing I hate more than queues, especially at the bank when the old lady in front of you wants to deposit her lifelong collection of five cent pieces. FAQ's on the other hand, like the ones I have compiled here, bust a lot of the myths you might have heard around the place. So here they are, answers to almost all of the questions you've ever had about matters of the brain. And some answers to questions you haven't even thought of yet.


My mates say only women and girly men suffer from depression and anxiety. Is that true?


Saying only women and weak men can get depression and anxiety, is like saying only smokers can get cancer and only men with accents can seduce beautiful women. It's a load of absolute rubbish. Anyone, including the strongest of men, can experience depression and anxiety.


Are the only men who suffer from anxiety disorders just scaredy-cats and worrywarts?


Even the bravest of men can suffer from anxiety disorders. Just ask the many diggers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder on their return from a conflict zone.


Does expressing my anger with violence makes me appear manlier?


No. This makes you appear like one of those shirtless reality-TV stars with shit for brains. While there are many situations where it's appropriate for you to become angry, it's never ok to express that anger with violence or rage.


Is it true that more women die by suicide than men?


No. This is actually the exact opposite of the truth: according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 76% of suicides in Australia in 2011 were men. While suicide has long been thought of as an affliction of trouble youths and tormented rock stars, it actually kills more men in Australia aged between 30 and 49 than any other group. In one year, nearly twice as many men will die by suicide in Australia than die on our roads.


Do people who abuse drugs and alcohol just suffer from a lack of willpower?


Unlike other temptations, such as Chicken Twisties and a marathon session of Sex and the City, alcohol and drugs are different kinds of temptresses. They can actually cause significant changes in the brain leading to dependency.


When a person dies by suicide, is there something wrong with that person's character?


No, there's nothing inherently wrong with the personality or character of a person who dies by suicide. In the majority of cases, however, if the person had sought help, they could have received treatment and support which might have prevented the outcome. Like any organ, such as the heart, liver or kidneys, when the brain is not functioning properly, it can lead to some life-threatening consequences. Feeling alone, disconnected, a burden, and like you don't belong anywhere, can be powerful and sometimes overwhelming thoughts which can lead some people to believe that suicide is a solution.


How long should it take a man to grow a moustache?


Let's put it this way. If after three weeks you can run a comb through your "tash" you're doing well, if not, consider keeping that upper lip clean.


Can't I just fix my problems by myself?


As you know, men are the ultimate D.I.Y.ers. So, it's only natural that many believe that they can fix stuff like negative thought patterns and aggressive behaviours. With health issues like severe depression and anxiety, trying to fix them without professional assistance is like trying to heal a broken arm without a surgeon.


Isn't there some kind of pill I can take to fix my depression?


Unfortunately it's not that easy. While medication can play an important role in treating depression, it's important that you combine it with lifestyle changes, like my D.I.Y. Health and professional treatment from a real therapist.


Can't I just have a few drinks or smoke a joint to deal with my depression, anxiety or anger issues?


Men experiencing depression and anxiety often turn to alcohol or drugs to help cope with their issues. This self-medication actually makes their depression, anxiety and anger worse. Which can lead to suicidal thoughts.


Is it okay to use a Wood on a par 3 hole?


It can be done however tests prove that an almighty whack with a 3 iron delivers just as much satisfaction as it does distance. If you're still concerned make an appointment with your nearest golf Pro immediately.


Am I going to be seeing a therapist or on medication for the rest of my life?


No, you probably won't. Depending on the severity of your issue, therapy and medication might only be prescribed for a short while, though it can take up to six weeks to start to work properly.


Shouldn't men keep their feelings to themselves?


This is a myth that has been instilled in male culture since the Jurassic Period. But that doesn't make it true. In reality, it's very important for guys to talk about their feelings. Because keeping them bottled up, only makes them worse. It's time men started sharing their feelings with their friends and family members.


I'm not crazy. Do I really need therapy?


Therapy isn't just reserved for loonies, crazies and whackos. In fact therapy isn't just for people who are depressed or struggling with addiction. Therapy is for anyone who could use someone to talk to besides friends, family members or co-workers. Heaps of Australian men have tried therapy and are now feeling much better.


What are three things every man should own?


A pair of thongs. A fully stocked tool shed. And a sea-faring vessel.


I've tried therapy before and it sucked. Why should I get give it a second chance?


Some guys have let one bad therapy experience ruin it for them. That'd be like letting bad sex ruin intercourse or a bad slice of pizza ruin the greatest food ever. Therapy works like a relationship. Some matches are great. Others aren't so hot. So before you give up on therapy, meet with more than one therapist. You'll probably find one that you really get along with.


I've tried therapy and it didn't work. Why should I try it again?


Therapists don't do therapy just for the sake of doing therapy. Often, they begin by trying one method. If that doesn't work, then they will work with you to decide what option to try next. Not all strategies a therapist recommends will work for all, but most of the time therapy is successful. If for some reason a therapist decides a particular strategy will not work for you, they will work to find other treatment options that might work better. The bottom line is seeking professional help cannot do you any harm.


Is punching something or screaming at the top of your lungs is a good way to release anger?


It's commonly believed that doing these activities (called catharsis) is a good way to prevent anger from boiling over. Unfortunately, it is not. Studies show that people who release anger in this violent manner, actually begin to associate anger with violence and become even more aggressive. If you are feeling anger, it's best to take a five minute timeout and let your anger pass.


Is it even possible to control anger? For me it just happens.


Here's an example. You're in the midst of a fit of rage. You're about to punch a guy in the mouth. A cop drives by. Do you throw that punch? Or do you stop? 99 out of 100 of us would stop. And in turn, control our anger. When it comes to anger, you can't always control the situation or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you respond.

Other Resources

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Stuff that's as useful as that old pocket knife your grandfather gave you.

Suicide Prevention & Intervention
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Living Is For Everyone 1300 659 467
SANE Helpline 1800 18 SANE
Suicide Prevention Australia
Soften the F*ck Up
Mind Health Connect
Black Dog Institute
Mind Spot Clinic
Mind Health Connect
Black Dog Institute
Mind Spot Clinic
Relationship Support
Relationships Australia
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Drug & Alcohol Use
Australian Drug Foundation
Counselling Online 1800 800 236
National Cannabis Prevention & Information Centre
Cannabis Information & Helpline 1800 30 40 50
National Drugs Campaign
Alcoholics Anonymous
Quitline 13 78 48
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Ngala Early Parenting & Early Childhood Services
Fatherhood Foundation
The Fatherhood Project 1300 78 99 78
Raising Children Network
Child Support Agency
Healthy Sexuality
Andrology Australia
Sexual Health Australia
QLIFE To be launched 01-07-13
Violence Prevention
Relationships Australia
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
White Ribbon
Chronic Illness
Chronic Illness Alliance
Heart Foundation
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Diabetes Australia
Cancer Council Australia
Stroke Foundation
Alzheimer's Australia
Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans & Veterans Families Counselling Services 1800 011 046
Touchbase and the Wellbeing Toolbox
Defence Care
General Men's Health
Health Insite
Better Health Channel
Movember Australia

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Support Options

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Helplines experience periods of time with a high volume of calls. If you can’t get straight onto a counsellor it may because they are answering other calls. So be patient, put the phone on speaker, and sit back and take a deep breath, or several.

1300 22 2638
Email or chat to us online at:

beyondblue offers support and information to all Australians, regardless of their age, gender or background.

Last year, over 70,000 Australians contacted us for support. Many were seeking advice or information, and others simply wanted to talk through their concerns with another.

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing depression or anxiety, there are three ways to contact us - call, email or chat to us online.

All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Although we may ask for your first name, let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous.

(Insert phone icon, already provide to Marmalade) Call 1300 22 2638

Give us a call any time of the day or night - select from the voice menu or hold the line to talk with a trained mental health professional.

We'll be there to listen, offer advice and point you in the right direction (for the cost of a local call, could be more from mobiles).

(Insert e-mail icon, already provide to Marmalade) Email us

To send us an email, [visit the ‘Get Support’ page of then] click ‘Email us’.

Complete your details and write your message - you'll hear back from one of our trained mental health professionals within 24 hours.

(Insert web cat icon, already provide to Marmalade) Web chat

Sometimes you may not feel like talking on the phone, so why not chat to us online?

We're online from 4pm to 10pm (AEST) every day.
To get started, click 'Chat online' then:

  1. Answer the brief pre-chat questions
  2. Read and accept the chat rules
  3. Click on the chat icon
  4. Wait for the next available counsellor.

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For optimum security when using web chat, please ensure that pop-ups, JavaScript and cookies are enabled on your browser. This service also uses SSL to ensure your privacy and security through your chat.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
13 11 14 is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile. Online crisis chat is also available every evening from 8 pm to 12 midnight (AEST).

If your life is in immediate danger, always contact 000.

Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can contact Lifeline. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation our trained volunteers are ready to listen, provide support and referrals.

When you call trained Telephone Crisis Supporters will answer and:

  • Listen to your situation
  • Provide immediate support
  • Assist to clarify options and choices available to you
  • Provide you with referral information for other services in your local area.

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 653 467

The Suicide Call Back Service is a 24-hour, nationwide service that provides telephone counselling to people 18 years and over who fit one of the following categories:

  • People who are suicidal
  • People caring for someone who is suicidal
  • People bereaved by suicide

An online counselling service is also provided for several hours most days of the week. The Suicide Call Back Service is especially suited to people who are geographically or emotionally isolated.

Mensline: 1300 79 88 79

Mensline Australia is a professional telephone and online support, information and referral service helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Counselling: 1800 888 236

A free, national 24-7 counselling service for people using alcohol and drugs, their family members and friends. Phone and online counselling provided.


For other support services, go to Other Resources.