Aussie blokes continue to struggle with their mental health and are doing so in silence.
Two thirds of men aged 18 or older experienced a disconnect with family and friends during the past two years of isolation and lockdown, according to the latest national survey conducted by charity Movember.
Despite the promise of a return to pre-COVID normality, 34 per cent of the 1057 respondents who took part in the late October poll said they still felt detached from loved ones.
Thirty five per cent intended prioritising social connection and 34 per cent physical health in the month of November.
However 21 per cent said they would likely keep to themselves.
Twelve per cent conceded they still felt isolated and/or disconnected despite the widespread lifting of COVID restrictions.
And just eight per cent said they planned to confide in friends and family about their mental health.
Movember found men aged 18-34 (42 per cent) are more likely than those 50-64 (29 per cent) and 65 and older (19 per cent) to still feel disconnected from family and friends in a post-lockdown world.
Director Zac Seidler says significant time in lockdown can mean losing sight of the everyday interactions and relationships that help people feel whole and part of something bigger.
"Suddenly these meaningful connections become remote," he said.
"Switching off from connectedness becomes as easy as turning off a phone or logging off of a computer but with that, people also shut off an ability to reach out to a mate or to be reached out to.
"It eliminates a crucial part in friendship of being able to listen and be heard."
To meet the challenge, Movember has developed Conversations, a digital tool to help the community feel equipped and empowered in opening up conversations around mental health with men.
It uses an interactive resource to present a range of simulated conversations allowing people to practise how to respond to someone who might be struggling.
Another program run by the charity, Ahead of the Game, teaches sports coaches, parents and participants how to spot the signs of mental health challenges and help overcome them.
The work coincides with the findings of a study for research and tech company Driven showing Australia's resilience has taken a tumble over the past year.
It appears a major legacy of lockdown is that many people find it harder to regulate and control emotions and stress.
The research showed only nine per cent of Australians have a level of resilience considered "protective" against anxiety and depression.
Those most affected are finance, emergency services and healthcare workers.
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Australian Associated Press
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