Strategies to tackle men’s mental health issues are in the spotlight at a two-day summit on the Sunshine Coast.

Mental Health Minister Curtis Pitt said the summit, ‘Out of the Shed – Men, Boys and Mental Health’, is an opportunity for experts to come together and discuss the mental and emotional well-being of Queensland men.

“Around 500,000 Queenslanders – one in five – will experience mental health issues this year yet more than half won’t seek help,” Mr Pitt said.

“We need to change that, because the consequences of not seeking help can be deadly,” he said.

Mr Pitt acknowledged that traditionally, men are reluctant to talk about their physical and emotional issues.

“Like most blokes, I don’t enjoy going to the doctor and I’ve been guilty of saying ‘she’ll be right’ plenty of times, but what I’ve learnt, is that putting things off just makes the problem worse,” he said.

“From where I sit, there’s nothing tougher than acknowledging a problem and doing something about it.”

Minister Pitt congratulated FOCUS Health for organising the summit, which includes an address from 2010 Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry.

The Bligh Government has allocated $8.5 million towards a campaign to reduce the stigma of mental health, and a further $600,000 in the recent State Budget for the Queensland Alliance to develop and support local community activities.