Men's mental health mentors wanted

Getting men to open up about their mental health can be a difficult task.

That's why the South Western Sydney Local Health District is teaming up with medical professionals, men's shed volunteers and residents to help men share their stories.

Tackling the Challenge: Talking Men's Health is a project looking to make a lasting and positive impact on men's health issues by allowing blokes to share their stories about thriving in times of hardship.

The project was launched in the Southern Highlands and is now being adapted and rolled out in Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly.

Campbelltown mechanic Andy Davies is among the men who have shared their stories in the project so far.

He is now seen as a men's health mentor.

After going through a tough break up, losing his best mate to cancer and working long hours to avoid facing what was going on around him, Mr Davies said he was lost in a fog of anxiety and depression.

His neighbours noticed a change in him and invited him over to share their concerns, which led to him reaching out to Lifeline and making positive changes in his life.

His GP gave him practical tools to take control of his mental health and Mr Davies said he began rebuilding his confidence.

"I have become a champion for men's health, mentoring friends and colleagues without feeling the stigma of speaking up about mental health," he said.

Health District mental wellbeing health promotion officer Brendan Bennett said Mr Davies was not alone.

He said a project like this could help other men discover the variety of help available, not just in "bricks and mortar" health services.

"We know that dealing with a personal crisis, recovery or challenges are not typically spoken about by men," Mr Bennett said.

"Through the Wingecarribee Health Association for Men, we are collecting men's stories of recovery or resilience to showcase their help seeking.

"By sharing these stories, we hope it can help other men learn from each other to get through those difficult times.

"The needs of each project site will be very different to what's happening in the Southern Highlands.

"It will be interesting to see what is impacting men across our district and how men seek help".

Men in Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly who would like to share their story can email Brendan.Bennett@health.nsw.gov.au.