All men do it tough sometimes. Helping a mate or reaching out yourself to let it out is a sign of real strength, and a reminder that we don’t have to – and can’t – solve every challenge alone. Think of it like this: would a plasterer hang a 5m sheet of plasterboard on his own if he had a mate nearby? If you were that mate, would you let him?
Relationship break up, death or anniversary, financial issues, unemployment or work issues, bullying or harassment, illness or injury, or family issues.
1. Changes to behaviours:
Angry or aggressive, excessive anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts.
Can't concentrate, poor behaviour control or conduct, distracted or withdrawn.
Always fatigued, physical illness, drinking or drugging more than normal.
Trouble sleeping, absenteeism, isolation or avoidance, risky behaviours.
2. Things to sense or hear:
Feeling hopeless, helpless, depressed, in despair and needing to escape.
If you've got a gut instinct about your mate, pay attention – intuition is usually right.
- Confronts the worry and weight of keeping a secret
- Confirms you’re not alone in your feelings or experiences
- Gains understanding, support and appreciation for your honesty
- Leads to advice that can help deal with the stress and pressures
- Gives you a chance to see things from another angle
- Helps someone else in similar need
1. Make time to catch-up regularly
Schedule time to connect in small groups (work breaks, coffee, after work, and so on).
2. Make chances for one-on-one conversation
Chat privately while doing something hands-on together (driving, playing cards, golf, and so on).
3. Ask simple, open questions regularly
Keep the talk up by asking "how are you travelling at the moment, mate?" or "what's the story, mate?"
4. Be a listener, not a problem-solver
Just listening without trying to solve the issue is a powerful act. It helps your mate feel understood and to share how he's feeling.
5. Share your own stories and compare experiences
We all have a story about stresses in our lives – yours might help someone else who’s struggling silently.
6. Be an icebreaker – awkward moments come with 'tough' talks
Chatting about life's stresses isn’t always easy, but take the lead.