Top ten strategies used by Australian men for optimal mental health

For optimum mental health, the men made distinctions between preventing the development of down or depressed moods and managing their moods during times of stress or adversity.

Men’s mental health has been a big focus in Australia in recent years and there have been many improvements in services and much bigger utilisation of these supports by men in general. However, mental health issues are still having an impact on men’s physical health overall with the majority of the burden of disease linked to mental health disorders is experienced by men (52.3%)1.

The good news is that in recent Australian studies, men have reported they are keen to try out and use range of strategies to support and improve their mental health when they have In fact, men reported using numerous different strategies to positively maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to this, men emphasised the importance of regular practise of these strategies in helping to build resilience and developing skills to cope. Men have reported a range of prevention strategies to “keep myself feeling ok, or on an even keel from day to day”2.

The top 10 strategies they reported using from top to bottom are; 3.

  1. Eating healthily (54.2% do this regularly)
  2. Keep myself busy (50.1%)
  3. Exercise (44.9%)
  4. Use humour to reframe my thoughts/feelings (41.1%)
  5. Do something to help another person (35.7%)
  6. Spend time with a pet (34.8%)
  7. Accept my sad feelings/ ‘this will pass too’ (32.7%)
  8. Achieve something (big or small) (31%)
  9. Hang out with people who are positive (30.8 %)
  10. Distract myself from negative thoughts/feelings (30.5%)
1. If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. If your children are struggling, they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
2. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia—Summary Release Date: 13 Jun 2019
3. World Health Organization. Preventing suicide: a global imperative. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014 [19 Feb 2015].
4. Doing what comes naturally: positive self-help strategies used by men to prevent depression and suicide report for Beyond Blue.

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