Take a moment to look out for a mate

In these challenging and uncertain times it’s important that we keep an eye on our industry colleagues and friends and not be slow to reach out to check up on them.

Research shows that around 90 percent of suffering through traumatic experiences in our lives can be resolved by having a cuppa, a hug and a talk to a caring friend or other ordinary human being, who knows how to listen.  In simple terms, it is worth remembering that “a problem shared is a problem halved.” And this is something most of us can do.

The remote and sometimes isolating nature of the fishing industry provides an additional degree of challenges for workers, which in turn can create pressure in other areas of our personal, professional and community life.

Often the most effective care starts from the “bottom up” with a mate reaching out and asking a simple question, or striking up a conversation. Around regional WA there are numerous community champions from individuals to shires, CRCs and community groups that arrange breakfasts, sundowners and BBQ’s that provide a “safe place” for people to meet, catch up and talk over life on the land and within our coastal fishing communities.

There are many other grass-roots events available which are a great way for people to share their stories in a safe and communal environment. No one is alone in experiencing this heightened level of stress and we need to work together to address it.

Primary Care is about developing a culture of caring for each other. It’s not about being an expert but being able to listen and express some empathy when someone is dealing with a difficult life issue. By de‑medicalising the effect that “situational distress” can have on our mental health, it gives permission and empowers ordinary people to act and value the care they can give alongside specialised mental health services and support options.

People in the bush have always faced tough times, and now is no different.

The benefits of an event at the grass-roots level are many, some of which are:

  • a sense of mateship and to remind you that you are not out there on your own;
  • maintains important social contact to keep the body, mind and spirit in good health;
  • it’s blokes talking about bloke’s stuff.

The important message is this, start to talk about some of the pain in your life, don’t suffer alone. Remember ...before it all gets too much… Talk to a Mate!! or Talk it Over 1300 789 978 Mensline Australia.

We always acknowledge the important role women play in Primary Care; they are often the conduit for men seeking help. But also remember to look after yourself first, as well as your family.

For more men’s health and wellbeing information check out www.regionalmenshealth.com.au, which includes the Working with Warriors® Podcast series along with a range of other helpful articles and other support options under the “useful contacts” tab.