November 15, 2023 - 12:30 pm

From: Turning Point

Globally, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder facing young men today. Unfortunately, we know little about how anxiety disorders manifest in young men, and what drives them to seek help. Whilst anxiety has deleterious effects across the life course (increasing the risk of comorbid psychological and physiological health issues), young men have low rates of help-seeking, limited anxiety literacy and perceive significant social pressure to adhere to traditional norms of masculinity including emotional-restrictiveness, stoicism, and fearlessness in the wake of anxiety symptoms.

In a world first collaboration with Orygen the Centre for Youth Mental Health and the global men’s health charity, Movember, the Men’s Anxiety Project has developed the first theory of young men’s anxiety, the Rising-Reckoning-Responding (Triple-R) anxiety model. This three-process theory details how young men grapple with and move through diverse anxiety experiences. From being unaware of, or avoiding anxiety, in the rising phase, young men face up to symptoms in the reckoning phase and eventually integrate and accept anxiety as a core part of their identity in the responding phase.

For young men locked in the rising phase, ambulance services are beholden to responding to acute anxiety symptoms (i.e., shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea) and frequently serve as a bridge to mental health support for young men with undiagnosed or untreated anxiety. Given young men’s acute anxiety symptoms closely resemble life threatening conditions (i.e., myocardial infarction, dyspnoea, asthma, and stroke), diagnostic testing and clinical management can be extensive and resource exhaustive.

In Partnership with the National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit (NAMHSU) at Turning Point, the Men’s Anxiety Project are now testing and translating findings from the Triple-R anxiety model into an emergency setting. This work is evaluating clinical characteristics and contexts of young men’s anxiety-related ambulance attendances. Findings detail young men’s experiences of anxiety and their pathways to help seeking, highlighting the need for resources catering to the unique challenges faced by young men with anxiety. This work also emphasises the importance of gender sensitive early interventions to divert men away from emergency services.

Krista Fisher is a PhD candidate at Orygen and the University of Melbourne funded by the Men in Mind Scholarship through the global men’s health charity, Movember. Krista’s research is primarily focused on men’s anxiety, and its association with other deleterious mental health outcomes including depression, substance use and suicide. Krista’s PhD study The Men’s Anxiety Project, has developed the first theoretical model of men’s anxiety (Resisting, Reckoning, Responding) which improves the identification, assessment, and treatment of anxiety in men. Krista is also working with the National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit (NAMHSU) at Turning Point to translate these findings into an acute emergency setting.

Using data obtained from the Victorian arm of the Australian National Ambulance Surveillance System (NASS), Krista is evaluating the clinical characteristics and contexts of young men’s anxiety-related ambulance attendances. Krista is passionate about improving men’s mental health outcomes across the lifespan and empowering men’s social networks who play a critical role in mental health recovery.

Date: Wednesday 15th November 2023
Venue: Online
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm AEDT (12:30pm – 1:30pm)
Cost: Free
Register: click here to register