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Mate needs help

Advice on how to support mates to seek help when they need it.


I am trying to support my mate as he has depression due to divorce and lack of income. He is very reluctant to get help. He gets angry when I try to encourage him to talk to someone. How or where can I find another bloke willing to talk to him about loss/sadness/anger?


Perhaps your friend is primarily concerned with external issues such as divorce and financial hardship. He may not see any benefit in talking about his feelings.

Contact with organisations such as Centrelink (to ensure he has all available income and job-hunting support) and volunteering agencies (to keep his skills and social networks current) may provide opportunities for him to move on – practically, and then emotionally. Community Men’s Sheds ( are good places to meet other men who have the time to listen.

His GP can assess and treat his level of depression, and can also refer him to a male counsellor, if he would like to talk things through and learn new strategies, and prefers to speak with another man. Another option might be for him to contact Mensline Australia (, a free and confidential 24/7 telephone and online support service specifically for men, phone 1300 789 978. He may be willing to attend help with a support person. Relationships Australia has experienced male counsellors and would welcome you accompanying your friend.

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Relationships Australia SA appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

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