As Men’s Health Week gets underway, a leading psychology clinician says the rise of telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen significant increases in the number of men accessing counselling services.

Psychology clinician Dr Terence Bartholomew said: “Research indicates that some men are more likely to attempt therapy if it is delivered via video.”

“Telehealth feels less intimate and doesn't require their physical presence in the room”, said Dr Bartholomew from the Cairnmillar Institute. The Cairnmillar Institute is a Melbourne-based not-for- profit registered health promotion charity.

“Topics like being unfaithful, abandonment, sexual dysfunction, and other physical losses, that may involve some kind of shame, can be more readily engaged with.”

Dr Bartholomew said: “There’s a growing awareness that health is about one's whole system, and that psychological and physical well-being are inextricably linked.

“That means we're seeing more males in therapy contexts, and also that therapists need to become more skilled in engaging with men and being open to the challenges that they present as clients.”

“The stereotype is that men don't seek out or prefer not to engage with psychological help, but we've seen real changes in this over the past decade.”

“There's the stigma for men, their conditioned communication style – which is often not about verbally deconstructing and analysing events, the obstacle of the dated and dismissive idea of the 'mid-life crisis', and gender differences in the effects of COVID. Males prefer the buffer of talking about issues while completing other tasks, and this ability to get together for projects has been limited by restrictions.”

About Dr Terence Bartholomew:

Dr Terence Bartholomew of the Cairnmillar Institute in Melbourne is a psychology clinician who is experienced with working with males across the lifespan, both individually and in couples.

About Men’s Health Week:

International Mens Health Week runs from Monday June 14 through to Sunday June 20. menshealthweek.org.au