Written by: ASN



Time to read 4 min

Men & Mental Health

For a long time, boys have been raised to become men, and not just men, but ‘manly’ men. They have been told ‘men don’t cry’, ‘man up’, ‘be the man of the house’, ‘be a real man’, and just about every other outdated phrase to convince them that emotions are weak, that opening up is weak, and that showing anything less than the emotional fortitude of a god is weak. Ignore that.

Men’s mental health matters. It is not weak to speak. It is a mark of strength to speak. Don’t suffer alone; there is no shame in extending your arm and asking for help.

In 2021, an estimated 3,144 Australians took their own lives… 2,358 of those were men. If you are struggling, seek help (Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2022).

What is Movember?

Movember is one of the biggest fundraisers in the world, continually making an immense difference in mental health and suicide prevention.

Movember has funded over 1,250 men’s mental health projects globally and is actively transforming the way health services support men. Movember was founded in 2003 by two friends sharing a beer and deciding to bring the moustache back into fashion. Travis Garone and Luke Slattery were inspired by the conversation that growing a Mo’ could spark and decided to use that conversation to create a movement.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the Movember movement has support from over 6 million men and women around the world, united under the commitment to help change the stigma around men’s mental health.

David’s Journey to Better Health

Whatever your struggle, you can overcome it, and you are far from alone in your struggles.

A member of our very own ASN family recently opened up about his journey through the trenches of men’s mental health.

David Wilkie, franchisee and owner of our ASN Coolangatta store, had experienced a reality that many grown men can relate to; he struggled with his weight and worked a job that frequently withdrew him from his family.

At 47 years old, Wilkie has two children and is married to his high-school sweetheart, and while that may sound like ‘the dream’, battling career goals, fitness goals, and the ups and downs of mental health can bubble to the surface.

Struggling with his weight and sitting at 110kg despite his 5ft height, David’s fitness journey began 15 years ago when his wife purchased him a gym membership. He worked tirelessly to drop 38kg before facing shattered vertebrae, nerve damage, a spinal fusion, plus a hernia and calf tear, all threatened to corrupt his progress. He remained vigilant, doubled down on a healthy diet and eventually seized the opportunity to purchase the ASN Coolangatta store.

It takes a lot of courage to change your career path, but David recognised that his work before ASN wasn’t fulfilling him and set out bravely to change that. David shared some insight into how his mental health played a role in his transformation and journey, describing how spending more time with his family and doing work that fulfils him has put what makes him happy into perspective.

“Coming to the realisation that it’s your choices that determine who you are and what your life is was such a big thing as far as my mental health”, David said. “I thought I was happy chasing the career status and the bigger pay cheque, but really I wasn’t."

“When I made the decision to take a chance on a career change and buy the ASN COOLANGATTA store, I realised that all the other stuff really wasn’t making me happy. Doing what I love is what has done that."

“I take time out for myself now when I can and spend more time with my family, and I love to travel now for pleasure with Kirrilee instead of travelling for work and living out of a suitcase and not taking in the world.”

Today David Wilkie is thriving both physically and mentally and has recently competed in bodybuilding competitions, where he has managed victories in 3 categories of the NABBA QLD competition and more.

How Can You Make a Difference

When we say you can make a difference, we’re not just talking about supporting others; we’re talking about supporting yourself too.

Men’s mental health is so important, and we want to help you combat it. Exercise can have an antidepressant effect, increasing serotonin and distracting you from the anxieties of everyday life. There’s a reason so many mental health movements surround walking.

If you don’t want to walk for yourself, then walk for the men around you who suffer daily depression and anxiety. The Man Walk strives to connect men while strengthening communities, while Movember encourages you to walk 60km in November to support the 60 men we lose to suicide every hour.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, David Wilkie has some advice that may improve your outlook. He suggests taking time out for yourself without feeling guilty about it. Find something that makes you happy, be it hitting the gym, going fishing, or spending time with your loved ones - focus on that, and you will find relief.

And don’t just leave it there; make sure the men in your lives are coping alright themselves. It’s easy to assume that somebody is doing great, especially because men have such a tendency to plaster on a smile, crack a joke and bury their emotions completely out of reach. Ask them how they’re really doing, and support them when they need you.

Seek Help

If you’re really struggling and you’re not ready to talk to your friends and family, or maybe you don’t feel like you have anybody to talk to at all, these Australian Support Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, over the phone and online.

If you’re not ready to chat just yet, you can also check the links below to join Discussion Forums, where you can share your feelings anonymously or read other people’s stories.

Remember, you are not alone.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

Kids Helpline (Younger ages from 5-25 years): 1800 551 800

StandBy - Support After Suicide: 1300 727 247


If you’re still feeling tortured by your mental health, these Self-Care tips may help you alleviate your pain. In the meantime, stay strong. You are not in this alone.


Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022. ‘Causes of Death, Australia’, Australian Bureau of

Statistics, accessed 25 October 2022,>

Beyond Blue, 2022. ‘Factors affecting mental health: Men’, Beyond Blue, accessed 25 October 2022,>