This week (15th – 21st June) is Men’s Health Week. This week is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it.
Although the main theme for this year is based around Coronavirus, The MHW Team would still like to focus on the shocking facts surrounding men’s mental health and wellbeing which is a cause close to our hearts.
Men’s Mental Health Facts (UK) (from Men’s Health Forum)
- Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (Reference: ONS)
- 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women – Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women.
- Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.
Finding Support for Men’s Mental Health
There are lots of organisations and charities that are centered around supporting men struggling with mental health issues.
It can be difficult to encourage our male loved ones to open up and talk about their mental health, due to societal expectations about how men “should” behave and what masculinity is. Some men feel that they must continue to display what have traditionally been perceived as masculine traits like strength, stoicism, dominance, and control.
This “man up" attitude has proven to be dangerous, and we must all play our part in putting a stop to this culture and encouraging men to address their issues more and also seek help for them.
Charities and Organisations for Support
- Men’s Health Forum – https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/
- CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – https://www.thecalmzone.net/
- Movember -Supporting Men’s Health – https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health
- Father’s Reaching Out, Father’s Mental Health – https://www.reachingoutpmh.co.uk/
- Men’s Sheds UK – Support for Lonely Older Men – https://menssheds.org.uk/
- Mind – www.mind.org.uk
If you are concerned about somebody, please contact a professional such as the organisations above for advice on how to approach the conversation about their mental health.
Together, we can beat the stigma around mental health and work towards a happier and healthier community.
If you are interested in being trained in Mental Health First Aid, the team at Ajuda who run our events also offer this training both physically and online.