Men’s Health Week: Building healthy environments for men and boys

It’s Men’s Health Week and this year’s theme is ‘building healthy environments for men and boys’. We spoke with Mental Health Clinical Educator, Rohan de Mel, about the significance of the theme.  

“It’s so important for men and boys to feel safe and comfortable to share, listen, engage and be vulnerable. This can be super tough, but I think creating a safe space is built on establishing a strong culture of respect and no judgement. This can be done in any space, be it work, social or sporting,” he said.  

In terms of maintaining good health, both physically and mentally, Rohan thinks it’s essential to talk through work and personal challenges with those he trusts.  

“Holding onto things and ruminating gets heavy and I feel lighter by talking things out. I also love fitness, so jumping in the garage and smashing some weights with my mates not only gives me that physical release, but also a safe sharing space,” he said.  

Managing challenges on our own can really weigh us down. 

“Connecting with others, be it family, friends, professional or other support, is vital for maintaining our health,” Rohan said.  

“Life can get so busy and commitments like family or work can dominate, this can sometimes mean we neglect things like exercise or seeing our GP.” 

Rohan emphasised the importance of creating healthy habits at a young age. These habits include talking about how you’re feeling, checking in on your mates, maintaining a healthy work/life balance, avoiding anything excessive, eating well and exercising.  

“I think we have the potential to shape what being a man in 2022 looks and feels like, and this starts by being a role model and actually walking the walk,” he said.