Sunday , April 18 2021

Men are no less deserving of a helping hand

In the current sociopolitical climate, it seems easy for our men to be forgotten. By focusing on women helping women, empowering women, and ensuring that no girl is left behind, it's easy to forget that boys may also need support, help, and the same commitment to ensure they do not fall into the cracks.

Whether it is gender groups, social groups, industrial groups, cultural groups or occupational groups, there is usually a cross-section between the good, the bad and the ugly. Recognizing the value of individuality, regardless of social deconstructions now deconstructed and redefined, the experience of an individual is no less valid because it does not fit into the current "truth".

November is a month of the year when men can break the stereotype, talk about their feelings, discuss the importance of mental health and grow a little to raise awareness about the fact that many men are dying too young.

Movember, as this 30-day period is called, is a chance to remind one another that our parents, siblings, children, companions, colleagues, cousin of cousin, once removed, are important to those around him.

And also, how vital it is for us to put aside stereotyped stoicism that sees so many men repressing their health problems, emotional needs, and psychological concerns.

As a career counselor, I am at the forefront of stress at work. I see firsthand how this can break a person. I understand how family stress can affect work performance and productivity, and how important it is that we all authorize ourselves to be human and, from time to time, throw out the juggling balls.

It is not about dividing and saying that only men experience stress at work, but rather recognize that sometimes our men need an extra push to deal with what is often called delicate sensations.

The figures show that 76% of suicides are men and 85% of the homeless are men.

The vast majority of military deaths (both dead in action and as a result of subsequent battles of mental health) are men.

In 2014, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article citing the strangely silent statistics that 95 percent of workplace fatalities (specifically in 2012, but the numbers speak of a common trend) were men, concluding that "the number 1 risk factor for dying at work in Australia is to be a guy ".

These are numbers we do not hear very often. But they need to be heard.

It is not about dividing and saying that only men experience stress at work, but rather recognize that sometimes our men need an extra push.

This is a question close to my heart. By holding my 18-month-old son in my arms, I almost lost my husband in the workplace without any fault.

We've all seen the WorkCover ads where the wife is watching the clock, the son is holding the basketball, waiting for the father to come home, but he's late.

It may be a stereotypical scenario, but having gone through it, she comes home.

When that ute turns on the sidewalk and the tension drains from the shoulders of those who wait for him, the truth of the matter comes subtly to light.

Just as we want to be (and hopefully are) loved and valued by our men, so we love and value them.

And sometimes we need to remind ourselves to tell them that.

I hope it is increasingly accepted that men do not have to live up to the standards of the warriors, where they are expected to deal with the charges alone, unable to put words into the storm that is forming.

I hope that in our rush for equality, as women, we can remember that we value those with whom we want to be on an equal footing. We should not be at war with each other when there is much ground to go.

We are not capitulating or retreating, acquiescing or sending to remind ourselves that boys and girls are equally important.

When respect is taught equally-not only to respect one another, but also to respect one another-we give each other a greater chance of finding a path worthy of our collective light.

Above all, we need to remember that we are all in this blue-green spot, flying together through space.

And we will all achieve greater things if we work together, regardless of gender, race, religion, industry or occupation.

If you or someone you know needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

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