Spotlight on Men’s Mental Health
Campaigns like ‘Movember’ and similar charities like CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) play an excellent role in raising the profile of men’s health and mental wellbeing. This month in particular is Men’s Mental Health Awareness month. Whilst it is reported that 1 in 8 men in England suffer from mental health conditions including anxiety and depression, other indicators such as suicide rate suggest this figure is likely to be higher.
Men may not come forward to access help for many reasons. Some don’t wish to burden anyone, with others not wanting to appear ‘weak’. The negative stigma and feelings of embarrassment are further hurdles to men opening up about their mental health. Expectations from society and familial roles may also hinder dialogue.
The mental health symptoms males experience can be different to what we may observe in women. Moreover, they may use drugs and alcohol as a means of coping. With suicide being the highest cause of death in men under 50 it is so important to get men talking and provide access to appropriate support services.
If you are concerned about anyone in your network then simply asking, maybe even acknowledging that they don’t seem themselves, can open up a conversation. Listen without feeling the need to problem solve and keep checking-in. Finally, you could suggest speaking to a GP or connecting with one of the many men’s confidential health forums and charities to seek further support, some of which are listed below.
We run several Wellness Webinars that can help people recognise the signs of mental ill-health in themselves and others, together with providing information on ways to promote wellbeing. Visit our website for more details.
MOVEMBER – focus on Men’s Health including mental health and suicide prevention – https://uk.movember.com/
CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – movement against suicide/helpline – https://www.thecalmzone.net/
SAMARITANS – suicide helpline – https://www.samaritans.org/