You don’t need to tough it out or go it alone when it comes to your wellbeing. It’s important to have a support network or a “team” who has your back and can help out. From your GP to a colleague, a counsellor to your footy club — depending on what’s happening in your life you might have certain people, services, and information on your team at different times.
But teams don’t come together by themselves, you need to choose the players and keep up your connections with them.
Who can you add to your team?
Your team is anyone who has your back and will be there for the good times and the tough times. Most importantly they are YOUR team. You choose who is best to support you and when. However, there are a few teammates you always want to have waiting on the bench.
Firstly, it’s important to include health professionals on your team — they can support you to maintain your wellbeing by stopping small problems before they get bigger. If something goes wrong with your health, already having health professionals on your team can help make managing these challenging times a bit easier. We suggest you have a doctor, or GP, on your team at all times.
Other teammates could include:
- Community groups or clubs
- Allied health services (e.g. dietitians, occupational therapists)
- Mental health services
- Support lines or services.
When to add to your team
Some of your support network might be there through thick and thin — such as family (biological or chosen) and friends — while others you can add as needed. If your healthy eating habits have slipped you might add a dietitian to your team, if you’re overcoming an injury you might add a physio, and if you’re losing interest in the things you once loved you can add a psychologist or support line to your roster.
It’s also important to recognise that those closest to you might not be able or equipped to meet your needs all the time. If you’re becoming a parent, moving cities or countries, going through a relationship breakdown or the death of a partner, for example, you might need to extend your network to get appropriate and timely support.
How you can be a good teammate
You can be a teammate to other people in your life too. Strong and supportive relationships are essential to a happy, healthy life but plenty of men would like more from their relationships with people who are important to them. Reach out and say g’day if it’s been a while — whether it’s a text, a call, or setting up a group chat. Maintaining strong relationships requires opening up, actively listening, and sharing what you’re going through. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can also help your teammates recognise the signs you’re in need of support and pick up on these signals in the future.
Want to support men's health this Men's Health Week? Get your hands on our free resources to spread to word on online and in your office.