Angst-ridden Aussie men blow their cover on helpline

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The Independent Online

The image of the macho, thick-skinned Australian male has been shattered by the revelation that a new phone helpline for men has been swamped by angst-ridden callers.

The image of the macho, thick-skinned Australian male has been shattered by the revelation that a new phone helpline for men has been swamped by angst-ridden callers. Men's Line, which calls itself the world's first service of its kind, took 60,000 angry and suicidal calls in its first year, many from men left by their partners and unable to vent their feelings to family or friends.

Counsellors manning the government-funded helpline were unable to deal with the volume. The service was so stretched the government has injected an additional A$200,000 (£72,000). A federal spokesman said the large number of calls reflected the insecurity felt by men about their place in society. Terry Melvin, the manager of Men's Line, said men were often reluctant to attend face-to-face counselling because they believed such services were run by women, for women, and they did not wish to expose their vulnerability.

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