September 16, 2020

#9 Talking Mental Health with Carl Nelms

#9 Talking Mental Health with Carl Nelms
Maria sits down with Murray Raeburn and Carl Nelms to talk about mental health for men.

Carl founded Blokes Psychology because he realised two things: firstly, that a lot of men were reluctant to seek professional help when it came to mental health, and secondly, that most clinics – and even psychological training – were more feminine-based in theory and practice. With few organisations dedicated specifically to helping men and addressing male issues, it was even harder for men to overcome the stigma associated with seeing a psychologist, so Carl created Blokes Psychology to help men stop suffering in silence.  

This is what makes Carl’s conversation with Maria and Murray so useful: he highlights that admitting vulnerability and seeing a psychologist is often viewed as ‘going against the grain of what it traditionally means to be a bloke.’ This is also one of the biggest tips Carl gives for spotting the ‘red flags’ – if a man is often angry and becomes isolated and distant, that could be a sign that he’s struggling. Having a dedicated space for men in the mental health services landscape means that he might be more likely to admit those struggles, and therefore could be more receptive to getting help.

Blokes Psychology isn’t 100% blokes-only, though, and much of Carl’s advice is applicable to anyone having mental health struggles – which is, of course, all the more common this year given the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast goes into great depth on how the pandemic and Melbourne’s lockdown is affecting people and what they can do to alleviate that, but here’s some of the highlights:  

  • We need to focus on what we can control

The pandemic has put the world into a state of uncertainty, and it’s too easy to spiral into anxiety when you think about the future. But if we focus on what we can do today, we can regain some control of our lives and keep that anxiety at bay.  

  • We need to be kind to ourselves

A lot of people, particularly those working from home, are struggling with ideas around productivity: many have the expectation that they should be just as productive as they would be in the office, but this just isn’t sustainable. Carl tells us we need to readjust those expectations and recognise that, in such a stressful time, it’s completely normal to survive rather than thrive.  

  • We need to stay connected

This is advice that we’ve been hearing all year, but it has never stopped being true – social connectivity is crucial for our mental health, so remember to make some time to reach out to your friends and loved ones. It’s beneficial to you both!

Blokes Psychology is doing really important work, and it’s crucial that we all keep an eye on our mental health as we stay the course of the pandemic. This recap of the podcast just doesn’t do the episode justice, so if you want to hear more about mental health and Blokes Psychology, scroll down to listen to the conversation!  

To learn more about Blokes Psychology, visit their website here.  

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