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Man up to Mental Health

Mental health includes a variety of things such as our emotional, psychological and social well-being. In addition to this, mental health can affect how we feel, think and act.

Mental health issues are extremely common. Bringing forward statistics, in the UK, it is claimed that 1 in 4 people will experience some sort of mental health issue and 1 in 6 people suffer from common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Within the world, there has seen to be a 'rising trend' of mental health. There has been a shift in attitude towards mental health, in recent times there has been more acknowledgement of mental health and how important it is globally. Having good mental health can help massively as it can help with achieving global development goals.

Mental health and men

Although mental health affects women than men, mental health is still a very important topic for men to be open to talking about. To state some figures, it is said that 1 in 5 women have mental heath issues and 1 in 8 men have mental health issues. Another shocking statistic is that it is reported that 73% of adults that go missing are men and 87% that sleep rough are also men.

A possible reason to why men are not open about talking about their mental health could be due to the societal gender roles. The societal gender roles suggests that talking about mental health as a man is deemed as not 'manly'. This stigma can cause men to keep their feelings to themselves causing more harm than good. The self-stigma comes from unconscious masculine ideologies that have sunken itself into modern culture. One main descriptor that may explain the reason men do not talk about their mental health is being in control and strong. Having poor mental health can be seen as not being in control and in a vulnerable state.

Moreover, research also suggests that men that don't or can't openly talk about their emotions can be less susceptible to the symptoms of poor mental health and can make men less likely to reach out for help. A possible effect of men being unable to talk about their mental health is substance abuse. As a coping mechanism, men may use alcohol or drugs and are likely to deter from talking to close ones and family. A disturbing figure, a survey conveyed that 40% of men would have thoughts of self- harm rather than look for professional help.

Possible symptoms of bad mental health

Although men and women often develop the same or similar mental disorders and conditions, but men can have different symptoms as follows:

  • Increased irritability, aggression and loss of control

  • Increased consumption of alcohol and/or drugs

  • Noticeable change in mood

  • Increased/ getting involved with high-risk activities

How to help men and their mental health

If you notice a difference in the way a male friend is acting, there are many steps for you to take to help them get through their struggles.

Talking to someone: This is often the hardest step that men have when discussing their mental health. Talking to someone close such as a friends, family and a significant other can be the catalyst in heading in the right direction.

Building connections can also help with mental health. By creating connections, it can help build a sense of belonging and purpose, all of which are important to keeping good mental health.

Research: Although mental health being widely covered, many men are still not aware of mental health. By reading up about mental health, understanding it and what help is available can help with taking the next step of talking to a professional. A good resource to help start the research for yourself or a loved one is the 'mind website'.

"Healthy Lifestyle": Having a healthy/ active lifestyle can help clear your mind or the mind of a friend or close one. In addition, eating well and cutting back on unnecessary alcohol can help make you feel or a friend feel better and more positive.

Sleep is vital to have good mental health. Having poor sleep has negative consequences such as compromising general health and immune system. Furthermore, adequate sleep can allow for optimal productivity and mind wellness.


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