Friends talking

Gold Coast men urged to ‘have a chat’ with their mates today

Men on the Gold Coast and all around Australia are today being urged to have a meaningful conversation with their mates.

The call comes on World Suicide Prevention Day, with figures showing suicide is the leading cause of death among Australian men aged 15 to 44.

Instead of a minute’s silence, global men’s health charity the Movember Foundation is urging men to speak up through their Man of More Words campaign.

“One minute of silence is society’s way of reflecting on and honouring significant deaths. However, in the case of suicide, it is this silence which is killing men,” Craig Martin from the Movember Foundation said.

“So, to change this, we are encouraging men to speak out for one minute on World Suicide Prevention Day.”

Man of More Words kicks off a month long campaign aimed at encouraging meaningful conversations around men’s mental health as a way to ultimately reduce the high rate of male suicide.

“We know gender plays an important role, which is why we’re talking specifically to men, equipping them to recognise the signs when they’re not doing so well, and to talk up when times get tough,” Mr Martin said.

“We’re hoping to show men that to be the best versions of themselves – to be better dads, mates and sons – they need to be men of more words. We want men and their supporters to know that talking, more and with more meaningful words, saves lives.”

According to the Movember Foundation, three out of four suicides are men, with more than 2,000 Australian men taking their own life each year.

Here’s how you can start a conversation with the men you care about in four simple steps:

1. Ask how they are doing
2. Listen without judgement
3. Encourage action
4. Check in regularly

Anyone in need of support can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
| visit website
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
| visit website
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
| visit website
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
| visit website

HeartKids

Heartkids charity walk to takeover Pratten Park this Sunday

In honour of the four lives lost to congenital heart disease every week, hundreds of Gold Coasters are expected to take part in the HeartKids Two Feet & A Heartbeat charity walk this Sunday.

The 4km walk is happening at Pratten Park in Broadbeach and funds raised from the event will go towards supporting families affected by congenital heart disease as well as funding life-changing medical research.

In Australia, eight babies born with congenital heart disease every day and as there is no known cure, those with the condition face unique challenges for their entire life. It is also one of the leading causes of death of babies in Australia.

Pre-registration for the Gold Coast event has now closed, however locals wanting to take part can register on the day from 9am.

On the day, every walker will carry a coloured flag:

  • Blue for those impacted by either congenital or acquired heart disease
  • Red for those walking in support
  • White for those walking in memory of a Heart Angel (deceased loved one)

For more information on the HeartKids Two Feet & A Heartbeat charity walk, visit: heartkids.org.au/whats-on/two-feet-a-heartbeat-2018

eating burger

Report: A third of Aussies not getting enough exercise

A study has revealed almost a third of Australians aren’t getting enough exercise, putting them at a heightened risk of deadly disease.

The self-reported study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows 30.4 per cent of Aussies didn’t reach the recommended level of physical activity in 2016.

Across the world Australia ranked 97-out-of-168 countries involved in the study.

It’s also found globally activity levels haven’t changed in nearly two decades.

Unsurprisingly, the study showed richer nations enjoyed a more sedentary lifestyle, putting them more at risk of developing non-communicable killers like dementia and cardiovascular disease.

These illnesses are commonly linked to  factors, such as, spending more time indoors, longer office hours, more accessible high calorie food and lower levels of exercise.

The WHO recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity-exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

Walk for Women's Cancer

Locals urged to sign up for Gold Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers

The Gold Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers is on this Saturday 8 September, and is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic beachside walk while giving hope to all Queensland women affected by cancer.

Gold Coasters are being urged to sign up to take part, and help raise much needed funds for lifesaving research, prevention programs and support programs for patients and their families.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the walk is also a fun way for families to get active together.

“Research shows physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for some cancers, including bowel and post-menopausal breast, so Cancer Council Queensland is urging Queenslanders to use Walk for Women’s Cancers as an opportunity to increase their activity levels,” she said.

“Regular physical activity can have immediate and long-term benefits – it helps maintain a healthy weight, improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce stress, and even decrease your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Walk for 30 minutes or more each day and you will feel the difference.”

Registration for the Gold Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers is $25 for the 3km or $30 for the 6km events, while children aged under 18 years can take part for free.

For more information, or to sign up for the event, visit: walkforwomen.org.au

Daughter helping father dress for work

Postnatal depression affects 1-in-10 dads

QUEENSLAND Health is shining a spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of new dads this Fathers Day, with one in 10 Australian men experiencing symptoms of postnatal depression following the birth of a new child.

Chief Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Officer Dr John Reilly said while it was widely known that depression related to pregnancy and birth could affect mothers, fathers were also at risk.

“It’s estimated that each week more than 100 new dads are affected by postnatal psychological distress in Queensland,” Dr Reilly said.

“Nothing can really prepare you for the birth of your first child – along with feelings of happiness and excitement can come feelings of apprehension, anxiety, exhaustion and guilt.

“The new pressures of fatherhood, including expectations of your own and others, a lack of sleep and a changing relationship with your partner are just a few things that could contribute to feelings of anxiety or depression.

“Keeping an eye on yourself and accepting your reactions rather than expecting something different is a good starting point.

“It is also important to recognise any symptoms of depression such as feeling down, trouble thinking clearly and less concentration.

“It’s important to remember you are not alone and there is always support available,” said Dr Reilly.

First time father Dan Smith said sleep was probably the biggest challenge and hardest thing to nail following the birth of his son, Eddie.

“My role with our new born son was more of a supporting role for my partner than anything else,” Mr Smith said.

“Initially, I found it a little bit hard as my role seemed to drastically change overnight. But slowly I realised that this was as it was meant to be.

“Sleep was probably the biggest challenge and hardest thing to nail. It effects everything from how you deal with work to how you talk to your partner and make decisions.

“My feelings of preparedness have changed over time. I initially felt great and just a sense of wonder and now I feel the importance of my role in his life every day.”

If you think you may be showing signs of postnatal depression, don’t suffer in silence – speak to a loved one or your doctor.

Alternatively, you can phone Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
| visit website
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
| visit website
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
| visit website
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
| visit website