Divorcees need to be kinder to each other to avoid mental health issues occurring.
Three million Australians are living with depression or anxiety, with the divorce process being a painful time for many couples, especially men.
Jane Bentley, the owner and manager of Angelfish Dating Consultants says she is deeply concerned that people are hurting as a result of the family law system and no one dares to talk about it.
She says the dating scene is scary for divorcees and custody battles can be debilitating.
Bentley says she meets people on a daily basis who have lost confidence, self esteem and drive.
“Divorcees can be made to feel worthless, especially if their ex-partner has been financially punitive,” she says.
Bentley adds men seem to be at a greater risk of mental health issues as they don’t talk about it.
“Unfortunately men tend to mask their depression and anxiety through outward symptoms like drinking and anger,” she says.
The important thing is to seek help and support and follow some of these suggestions:– Be kinder to one another – Use counselling before the law – So not use the law for punitive action – Think fair – Think long term
Bentley says talking is also important, especially for men who are likely to mask their symptoms.
“In their lives one in five men will experience anxiety…but only 27 per cent seek professional help, compared to 40 per cent of women.
“There’s a stigma associated with men’s health issues. ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is still the belief held commonly in our society,” she says.
Bentley states Angelfish’s focus is to promote awareness of the Man Therapy Campaign and to let men of all ages know that it’s okay to not feel okay and that there is help available and a way out of the pain and despair.
The Man Therapy Campaign is the first of its kind in Australia and urges men ‘to have the balls to take action’ on depression and anxiety while reminding them that a real man looks out for his mates.
Videos like the one below have been running on TV nationally since Boxing Day last year with the aim of improving men’s wellbeing and to reduce the much higher rates of male suicide in Australia compared to Women [four times more likely].
Beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett says he pleased the dry humorous approach by Dr Brian Ironwood to tackle men’s wellbeing has been such a success.
“In the first fortnight alone, there were almost 19,000 site visitors with more than 90 per cent being new visitors.
“It shows that men have actually taken note and taken action. What an incredible result!,” Kennett says.
Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO says the latest Bureau of Statistic’s figures show that in 2011 the biggest killer of males aged 15 to 44 was suicides, above road fatalities.
“Research shows that untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide and with most blokes not wanting to talk about how they feel, many won’t take action to discuss their issues with a doctor.
“Hopefully they’ll take Dr Ironwood’s advice and take action to deal with their depression or anxiety,” she says.
Angelfish has organised a team of like-minded professionals to form a committee to help with a “Celebrate Life Garden Party” on 8 March. Its aim will be to raise awareness and donate 100 per cent of the funds to beyondblue for all the great work they do in this area. View event details here.