Doctor helping raise men's health issues

Dunedin GP Dr Salil Elias is taking part in "Movember". Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin GP Dr Salil Elias is taking part in "Movember". Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin GP Dr Salil Elias says his "Movember" moustache is something of a talking point among patients.

The Student Health GP, who also works at Green Island Medical Centre and Dunedin Urgent Doctors and Accident Centre, said it was his fourth year taking part in the "Movember" fundraising promotion, which raises money for male health.

Dr Elias said that some patients found his sprouting facial hair "disgusting" while others, most likely to be male, liked it and congratulated him for taking part.

He said male university students were just as likely as older men to have difficulty talking about tricky health issues, especially depression.

A survivor of depression himself, Dr Elias said his own experience helped, but "some of our boys are very hard to tease [medical] histories out of."

Compounding the problem was a perception the student years were the best and most carefree of a person's life.

Some young people found their new-found freedom daunting and lonely, as they were usually away from the security of family for the first time, Dr Elias said.

Other issues for male students were sports injuries and substance abuse.

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