Man's crucial conversation with partner amid depression battle

·News Editor
·4-min read

A man battling depression has revealed the crucial conversation he had with his partner as he struggled through Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown

Jordan Broadway, 26, said he had battled with his mental health since he was about 14, but a lack of distractions during the city's Covid lockdown caused his issues to bubble to the surface. 

"It started as a pretty standard teenage angst kind of thing but then it became something that wasn't that," he told Yahoo News Australia. 

"My symptoms were on and off and I had what I guess you would call depressive episodes – some were worse than others and some not so bad."

Mr Broadway, who was telling his story as part of Men's Health Week, said he could mostly manage his mental health on his own until he found himself in coronavirus lockdown feeling low and exhausted.

Jordan Broadway sought help from Mosh during Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown. Source: Supplied
Jordan Broadway sought help from Mosh during Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown. Source: Supplied

"Last year in lockdown there was nowhere to hide and my partner suggested I give a psychologist another go," he said.

"I realised it was not just affecting me, but the people I care about who don't like to see me struggle so that was sort of the push to give it a go."

Not being able to leave the house, Mr Broadway turned to the internet for help to find a psychologist who could help him from the comfort of his own home. 

He then came across Mosh, an online men's health clinic, where he was matched with a psychologist. 

"It was a blessing in disguise because catching a train to a psychology appointment can be really draining and it was nice to just be in my bedroom and not having to worry about the travel," he said.

"I was in a place that was comfortable for me – I could have my slippers on and go to the fridge to eat lunch when it was over – I didn't have to worry about being somewhere I didn't want to be."

Seven men die by suicide each day

Mosh clinical psychologist Dr Rachel Cohen told Yahoo News Australia many men she had helped found it easier to talk about their issues from a place where they felt more comfortable. 

"Seven men take their lives every day and are three times more likely to than women," she said.

"Men are struggling with mental health and it's often been linked to them seeking help less."

She added men did not often feel as comfortable as women when opening up about life changes and were more concerned about burdening their friends or felt shame due to masculine stereotypes. 

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"It can be intimidating to go to a face-to-face clinic and sit in the waiting room," Dr Cohen said.

"Mosh is all online and from the comfort of your own home – I have clients in their pyjamas talking to me while cooking breakfast or sitting in their car between meetings.

"Talking to them at a time it's convenient for them, they are much more open and comfortable and engage beautifully in the treatment."

How to help somebody struggling

Dr Cohen says when supporting somebody with a mental health issue you should ask if they are OK, listen, encourage action and check in.

"Most of the time you get met with everything is fine and people then ticking the box that they asked if they were OK," she said.

"But asking a bit more and sharing something you've been going through can normalise it and show it's OK to talk about when you're struggling.

"Asking is not going to make anything worse."

Dr Cohen said people should not offer solutions, but encourage people to focus on simple things that could help and reach out for support from their GP.

"The final step is to check in after that conversation – it's really important," she said.

"You might need to have the conversation several times before they are really able to open up about what's going on with them, but continue to provide support throughout their journey to getting the support they need."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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