Gold Coast group raise men’s mental health awareness

THE number of men with depression in Australia is nearly five times more than an MCG grand final crowd and that is a worrying statistic, according to Ian Doherty of the Ian Short Association for Male Health Awareness.

The Gold Coast-based association is hosting a lunch to raise awareness of men’s mental health at the Southport Yacht Club On November 25.

Mr Doherty said men aged 35 to 44 had the highest rates of depression, with one in 12 experiencing depression in the past 12 months.


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“While we do not have specific statistics for the Gold Coast, we expect figures to mirror the national trend,” Mr Doherty said.

“In their lifetime, 12.2 per cent of all Australian males aged 16 years and over are expected to experience a mood disorder, while 20.4 could experience an anxiety condition.

“For some, these mental health conditions may lead to suicide: at least five men take their own lives each day in Australia.

Others may turn to risky drinking and/or illicit drug use or shut themselves off and become socially isolated.”

The Ian Short Association’s key goal is to help aid, support and educate men on male health issues, diseases and treatments in order to increase the chances of early diagnosis of successful treatment.

It was established to pay tribute to well-known Gold Coast personality Ian Short, who was involved in numerous community organisations including Apex, Meals On Wheels, Variety Club and The Old Bastards Association. Ian died in 2008 from ongoing complications caused by a melanoma on his spine.

“Males usually adopt a ‘she’ll be right’ or ‘I’m ok’ attitude where their health is concerned,” Mr Doherty said. “Our awareness activities are aimed at encouraging blokes to check their health more regularly and take proactive steps.”

Guest speakers at the lunch include Lt Col Martin Levey from Canungra Military Training Centre and Joshua Mill from Beyond Blue, an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression and to reduce the associated stigma.

Popular raconteur Ian Harvey will MC the lunch which will include entertainment and raffles, with proceeds going to Beyond Blue.

Tickets are $100 a head and include two-course lunch, with beer and wine from noon until 2pm.

Tickets are available from Ian Doherty on 0427 950 806 or contact ianmon@bigpond.net.au.

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