Dr Revindran Nair.

Men's Health Week is an important reminder to encourage all men to take care of their body and mind

It’s Men’s Health Week and it’s an important reminder to encourage all men, everywhere, to care of their body and mind.

Statistics from Beyond Blue indicate Australian men make up an average of six out of every eight suicides every single day and the number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.

And with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in job losses, isolation, fear and stress, it’s important to check in with men more – whether its colleagues, friends or family – according to psychiatrist, Dr Revindran Nair.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a bad impact on people’s mental health in general and traditionally men are less likely to put their hand up for help,” he said.

“They will instead externalise their behaviour, through drinking or other self-destructive ways of managing stress.

“It’s worse for men due to their reluctance in asking for help.”

Dr Nair believes there is a risk COVID-19 may lead to greater male suicides in Australia.

Signs to look out to indicate there may be something wrong include changes in usual patterns of behaviour, an increase in substance use, becoming withdrawn, or a persistent change in the way they interact with others or do their jobs.

Dr Nair said structure and routine were most helpful for self-care and wellbeing, especially during COVID-19.

“When people don’t have routine it mucks their sleeping and eating patterns,” he said.

“Of my private patients, the ones who’ve done the best are the ones who’ve kept a routine.

“The ones who struggle, have lost their routine – they go to sleep late, get up late, stay in their pj’s all day and stop exercising.

“For men especially, getting adequate sleep, connecting with people and having structured routine is what’s most helpful.”