Spotlight on young men’s mental health
Wolper wellbeing seminar

Spotlight on young men’s mental health

75 per cent of men’s mental health disorders surface by the age of 24 years

Photo: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo: cottonbro / Pexels

Wolper Jewish Hospital’s upcoming Wellbeing webinar ‘Modern Masculinities’ on Wednesday, September 14 features a panel of leading practitioners and thought-leaders in the field of young men’s mental health.

Panellists include clinical psychologist Dr Zac Seidler, who has dedicated his academic and professional career towards further understanding men’s mental health, masculinity and suicide, social work leader Dr Neil Hall, who has worked as a social work practitioner in street work, adolescent health, drug and alcohol, sport development, and as a sessional group work specialist in prisons and juvenile justice centres, and Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, founder of the Top Blokes Foundation.

“Traditional definitions of masculinity no longer work in practice and frankly have not for a long time, but that doesn’t mean they no longer exist and are not doing harm,” said Seidler.

“We need to move beyond outdated stereotypes and a ‘boys will be boys’ mentality if we are to see our young men embrace a healthier definition of masculinity, engender empathy and respect for self and others (male and female) and realise their full potential through healthy peer relationships.”

75 per cent of men’s mental health disorders surface by the age of 24 years. The discussion will cover alternative strategies to address awareness of male issues, understanding the importance of the right role models, the importance of boys knowing how to manage and express their emotions and the development of emotional intelligence.

“It is our intent that the webinar content and our panellists’ responses to audience questions will help clarify the qualities we want to see develop in our boys and young men as they make the journey to manhood,” said Dr Allan Shell, Convenor of Wolper Jewish Hospital’s Wellbeing Program.

Mental health issues, anti-social and risk-taking behaviours and the need to avoid disengagement will also be covered in this important webinar in which participants will be able to ask questions anonymously.

“We try and work with young men, to help them understand their own mental health and to give them skills to improve their own wellbeing, giving them the tools and the confidence to speak out when they see others make poor choices,” said panellist Abu-Gazaleh.

“One of the biggest reasons why young men don’t seek help for their mental health is around the stigma. If we can all support reducing the stigma and normalising seeking help and speaking up, then in the long term we are going to see better results.”

Abu-Gazaleh is passionate about youth leadership and empowering young people to define their dreams and become agents of change.


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