Throughout November we are encouraging men to speak about their mental health and seek help and support.
Every year in the UK, November is recognised as Men’s Health Awareness month, which encourages men to participate in various activities to raise awareness about men’s health issues. The month provides a platform for men to discuss their health, seek support and take proactive steps towards a healthier and happier life.
We want to highlight November as an important time to talk about men’s mental health, work towards reducing stigma, changing societal expectations and increase the likelihood of support uptake among men.
Research from the Mental Health Foundation found that approximately one in eight men have a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress or depression, but worryingly over 40% of males say they have never spoken to anyone about their mental health.
Jackie Latham, Adult Mental Health Services Manager explains:
“When people are struggling with their mental health they might not be able to recognise it themselves which means they might not be aware they need to ask for help. We know that males are traditionally more reluctant to open up about their feelings and emotions so sometimes it takes a person they can trust to open up that first initial conversation and encourage them to seek some professional help and advice.
Every situation and person is different but some of the common signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health can include a loss of motivation for everyday tasks and activities, struggling to get out of bed, a poor diet, increased alcohol consumption and risk taking behaviour. You may also notice a decrease in personal hygiene, a short temper or just generally not seeming themselves. It is very important to recognise that these can be signs, but it can also be really difficult to spot, so if you are worried it is always best to try and start a conversation.”
We provide 24-hour access to mental health care, advice, support and treatment. To use the service you do not need to have used any mental health services before or previously been diagnosed with a mental health problem.
The team can also take phone calls from concerned friends, carers or family members, who with the person’s permission can be present throughout the call and further treatment for support. The team is made up of understanding support staff and qualified mental health clinicians talking to people in distress and providing guidance to help manage situations and feelings. The service can signpost, refer and make appointments for further treatment.
“When you start a conversation try to be non-judgemental, ask open ended questions and let the person talk freely, reassure them their feelings are valid and what they are experiencing is normal and nothing to be embarrassed about and try to avoid using any clichés.”
Research from a recent survey conducted by the Priory found that 40% of men said it would take them to experience suicidal thoughts before they would seek professional help. 75% of death by suicide are males and suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50 in the UK.
“We often hear about feelings of relief when people talk about their mental health for the first time and ask for help. We want to remind men during November and beyond that we are here to help. We offer a spectrum of help for common mental health conditions to supporting people with more severe forms of mental illness. We will always be approachable, understanding and non-judgemental.
We recognise there is often stigma attached to being seen to have mental health difficulties but we want to break down these barriers and remind men and their families that emotions, feelings and struggles are all part of being human and nothing to be embarrassed of.”
You can access mental health care, advice or support using our Freephone numbers. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and bank holidays.