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The facts about men’s mental health: No.10 Asking R U OK?

Happy International Men’s Day! Are you happy? And, are you okay?

This question has received a great deal of exposure in recent years thanks to the efforts of the R U OK? Suicide prevention charity in Australia, encouraging all of us to notice the signs of mental health struggle in friends, family and colleagues.

We’re calling it out once more in the final instalment of the Know Your Man Facts campaign for International Men’s Day 2021 as one of the key actions to take to help a mate. The first one was simply around making a connection with a mate.

But sometimes, just hanging out with a mate isn’t enough. We a mate is doing it tough, we may need to ask R U OK?

Many people avoid asking because they feel uncomfortable about what might come next, or how to respond to what might come next.

You don’t have to have all the answers, a couple of ears is the key component.

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

Having a difficult conversation starts by asking and listening without judgement. Being a sounding board, acknowledging that your mate’s feelings are perfectly valid.

You might also want to help a mate who is struggling think through his options. If you are extremely worried about him but aren’t sure what to do, you can always call a helpline like Lifeline and ask them for advice.  (13 11 14)

When you notice a change in someone, start a conversation that could save a life.

Know Your Man Facts

The 10 Know Your Man Facts on men’s mental health were developed for International Men’s Day 2021, but are available year-round to help men look after their own mental health as well as supporting a mate.

Check out these ideas and choose several things you can start to work on. Make a plan. Keep it simple, but keep it going.

Here’s the 10 Facts again explained with more detail. Happy International Men’s Day 2021!

Read: The facts about men's mental health: No.1 - 75% of suicides are male

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.2: Out of Order

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.3 Men at Work

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.4 Home Alone

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.5 You Gotta Have Friends

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.6 Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.7 Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

Read: The facts about men's mental health: No.8 The Healthy Mindset

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No.9 Check Mate

Read: The facts about men’s mental health: No 10 Asking R U OK?


Know Your Man Facts is a toolkit series developed by the Australian Men’s Health Forum to bring greater awareness to critical issues facing blokes.

Started several years ago as a series of graphics to share across social media, Know Your Man Facts has evolved into a toolkit that enables others to share the information and even give a talk in whatever surrounding suits their needs.

The talks come with an extensive and professionally designed Power Point presentation and speaker notes, including ideas for audience involvement and short quizzes. This is also accompanied by an infographic and separate ‘#KYMF Fact’ posters that can be distributed around the group and shared across public domains, such as social media.

If you would like a copy of the talk, along with supporting materials, please email [email protected]

The campaign is evergreen – until something happens to change the facts – in which case it will be updated. So while International Men’s Day is technically celebrated on one day – November 19 – we hope the Know Your Man Facts series are picked up throughout the year by our Men's Health Champions. 


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