Young and Well CRC survey finds 20% of young men think life’s not worth living

24 July 2013
The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (YAW CRC), supported by Beyond Blue and Movember, launched their national survey results on Monday 21 July at Luna Park in Melbourne. 

The survey, Game On: Exploring the Impact of Technologies on Young Men's Mental Health and Wellbeing was completed by 1400 young people.  

The survey found nearly one in ten young men thought about taking their own life in the past year and that more than four in 10 experienced psychological distress.

However, it identified the important role online technology can play in helping distressed young men and how engagement with them could be strengthened by modifying technology to suit their online behaviour.

At the launch, the Luna Park rollercoaster was used as a pictorial symbol of life’s ups and downs often experienced by young people. 

The event was attended by 80 people from mental health organisations including Orygen Youth Health, the Black Dog Institute and the Mental Health Commission. 

Speakers at the event included Kate Carnell, Beyond Blue CEO; YAW CRC CEO Associate Professor Jane Burns; and Jason Hincks, Movember COO.

Kate Carnell said this alarming new research highlights the urgent need to address young men’s mental health issues.

“The results of this research are deeply concerning and emphasise the ongoing need for a focus on young men,” she said. “Almost 50 per cent of young men said coping with stress was their biggest issue.

“Technology presents our best prospect yet to work directly with young men to create new ways of engagement, new models of care, and greater empowerment for young men in their management of stress and life pressure. 63 per cent of men said they used the internet after 11pm, representing an increase on previous surveys,” she said.

Ms Carnell said Australian policy-makers must read the survey and consider its recommendations in order to tackle the mental health crisis facing young men in Australia.

Beyond Blue has launched several campaigns and programs to help boost the mental health of young men, including Man Therapy, which uses humour to encourage men to deal with depression and anxiety and SenseAbility, which is a strength-based resilience program delivered in secondary schools.

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