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Aussie men keep matters of the heart close to chest

Luke Grant speaks with Wayne Schwass, former North Melbourne & Sydney Swans AFL legend and mental health warrior, who along with his charity PukaUp has teamed with eharmony to shine a light on men’s mental health issues as we head into World Mental Health week tomorrow.


According to new research from relationship experts at eharmony, more than half (55%) of Aussie males feel the need to hide mental health issues from their partners, while a similar number (54%) feel pressured to be their family’s financial provider.


When it comes to talking about matters of the mind and heart, Aussie blokes remain resolutely tight-lipped.  Ironically, this lack of communication often intensifies emotional struggles, and is likely to be a contributing factor to the one in eight men battling depression and mental health issues each year.


Mr Schwass, the founder of PukaUp, has openly shared his own experiences with depression in the past which culminated in him ‘lying, hiding and pretending’ he was happy for 12 long years.


“While disappointed, I’m not at all surprised by eharmony’s findings which illustrate that over half of men still hide difficult feelings from their partners, and many feel they have to find their own ways to deal with things, rather than talk things through with their loved ones or mates”, he says.


“When I had despairing feelings, I certainly felt as a man I had to contain them to some extent. But the problem is if you don’t talk to people when you’re down, things build up even more creating huge emotional isolation and disconnection. Over time, this sequence of events can actually be quite dangerous.”


“That’s why I’ve taken my own experience to look at how it can help others. At PukaUp we are creating genuine and authentic conversations around mental health and emotional wellbeing– we tackle tough topics and offer resources to help build the conversational tools that might seem difficult at first but will actually help so much more in the long run.”

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