By Rebecca Musgrave
The Men’s Counselling Service in Graz and Leoben has encouraged men on Men’s World Day not to deal with their problems alone. It is, they claim, socially acceptable to seek help as a man with the number of consultations increasing tenfold in the Graz centre in the last 15 years.
Some 600 men came to the Men’s Counselling Service in 2010 with a further 50 women coming on behalf of partners and sons. According to Wolfgang Obendrauf from the service, hang-ups about asking for help have reduced and as a result the number of counselling sessions, whether in person or on the phone have increased by five per cent. “More and more men call us and it is always getting easier for men to come to us,” he said.
The majority of the men are aged between 35 and 50, coming from different backgrounds, with various problems they wish to discuss, Obendrauf explained. “In 40 per cent of the cases it is about divorce and 11 per cent a dispute in the family or a relationship. A very important area is also psychological problems as more and more men are under enormous stress. On the other hand we have many men with problems or crisis who have the courage to come to us and get help,” he said.
The Men’s Counselling Service for Graz and Leoben also offers support to criminals and men who were victims of violence themselves. In the future they hope to expand their health consultation and open an office in Feldbach, Austria. They do not yet have the funding for this.