What is mental health?
Mental Health includes our emotion, psychological and social well-being, and effects how we think feel and act, there are multiple mental health disorders which includes depression, anxiety and encompasses a wide range of factors such as the decision to manage stress, make decisions and maintain relationships with others.
Mental health issues are not exclusive to any gender although women are to seek health for mental health problems which can lead to a number of challenges for men’s mental health.
Mens mental health
According to the Mental Health Foundation, three times as many men die by suicide compared to women with men aged 40-49 having the highest suicide rate in the UK and according to the Government’s well-being survey men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women.
Mental health statistics show that over 35% think they’ve had a diagnosable mental health condition at one point in there life, with 77% of men have suffered a least one common symptom of mental health with 29% of men say they won’t seek help as they are “too embarrassed” to do so.
The biggest causes of mental health issues in men’s lives are work, finance and health.
The most common issue within men that lead to these issues are depression, depression is a issue that affects millions across the world and is a mental health disorder characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a loss in interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
Men often endure the same symptoms during depression which consists of irritability, sudden anger, increased loss of control, risk taking and aggression with men more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a coping method compared to seeking professional medical help and often find ways to escape and avoid there emotions.
There are various factors that contribute to this issue with the main factor being typical gender roles, men in society are viewed to be the breadwinners earning the money to feed the family and are expected to be strong and dominant and in control and are often discouraged from expressing vulnerability or seeking help. Men often suffer in silence as they don’t want to be seen as vulnerable and this is why they don’t seek help and often turn to alternative methods such as alcohol.
To address this issue, it is important to encourage open conversations about mental health, remove the stigma of not seeking help and staying quiet and provide more sources and support for men who are suffering with mental health issues which currently includes sources such as counselling or therapy, support groups and education on the matter so men can understand what they are going through and that it can be resolved.
It is also important for men to feel supported by their family and friends and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues to provide the help needed,
Priory conducted a survey completed by men to help better understand why men don’t talk about their mental health in which they asked what the underlying reason for coping in silence is the most typical response answered by 40% of men was “I’ve learnt to deal with it” with other responses includes, “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone”, “I’m too embarrassed”, “I don’t want to appear weak” and “I have no one to talk to, all these responses highlight the stigma that men feel about their feelings and emotions.
Charities that support men’s mental health
There are a variety of charities accessible to men for support and run fundraising events and public campaigns to help teach about mental health conditions to make them easier to spot and support. Some of the more famous charities include CALM, The Movember Foundation, Mens health forum.
CALM is a uk based charity which provides a helpline and web chat service for men who are feeling down or struggling to cope and typically run campaigns to raise awareness for men’s mental health, one of the most famous campaigns for men’s mental health is ran by The Movember foundation in which men have to grow a moustache during November to raise awareness for men’s mental health in which millions of men participate in the challenge while also donating towards the cause to help make a change.