COPING STRATEGIES FOR MEN

Following our month of Change in September, October at Dudes & Dogs is all about Coping: coping with whatever challenges life throws at us. On the back of her Men’s Mental Health YouTube interview series, Clare Davis, shares some thoughts on helping men ‘cope’. Watch Clare’s recent interview with Dudes & Dogs founder Rob Osman below.

 

How do men cope with the stresses of life, such as dealing with change? You may think it is a bit strange for a woman to be writing about coping strategies for men. Not only do I have men in my life, but I have also have the privilege of working with men with regards to mental health. 

I am a Mental Health First Aid instructor, going into companies and training up their Mental Health first Aiders. I also have a YouTube and a podcast called Mental Health Chats. My current series on YouTube is Men’s Mental Health and I have interviewed very interesting guests about coping strategies for men (including Rob!).

Last week I ran a 2-day Mental Health First Aid Course to a male dominated company. It was a very different dynamic compared to female dominated companies. The men all had teams who work in isolation, some not seeing people for days on end. They said it was very difficult to open up conversations, with many of their team members covering up their emotions with humour and ‘taking the mickey’ out of one another. During the 2 days, their consensus was that most of their teams were struggling. Most were working long hours, drinking too much, not sleeping enough and ‘burning the candle at both ends’ to cope with the everyday pressures. 

How do we help men cope? What else can we do to help men open up conversations and talk about their emotions. One of my guests for Mental Health Chats is Warren Davies 

 

known as The Unbreakable Farmer. Warren is from a farming community in Northern Victoria Australia. He gives talks on Coping in Isolation. We must understand that a lot of men feel isolated are not only men in farming communities where you are geographically isolated. You can feel isolated in a big city or working for a large company like the company mentioned above. Warren gave very pertinent advice, with the methods he found helped him to cope. They are:

a)  Know the people you can turn to, to communicate your emotions, discuss your challenges and feelings

b)  Build relationships with people. Develop a community of people including close family, close friends, and sporting groups

c)  Be serious when you ask for help - really ask for help

Another guest I interviewed was Jason Spendelow,

 

a clinical coach and psychologist who started the Flexible Man Project. Jason gives sound advice, helping men understand their emotions and have conversations about their emotions. Jason coaches men on how to have flexible thinking, show flexible behaviour and use compassion. They all sound quite easy, but are they?

Jason offers a free 3 part workshop on his website:

 

My aim is to open up conversations and intervene early to help people on the road to recovery. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, or follow my podcast. There are two series to look out for: Men’s Mental Health and Suicide. Let’s open up conversations and help those in need.