Around 75% of UK deaths from suicide are men, and it is the leading cause of mortality for men under the age of 50. These figures highlight the critical need for mental health services for men. Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with men’s mental health, which frequently stops men from seeking mental health help from family, friends, and medical professionals.
Men are less likely to disclose or seek treatment for mental health concerns because of societal expectations and traditional gender norms. Often expected to be breadwinners, as well as be powerful, dominant, and in command. While these aren’t inherently terrible traits, they can make it more difficult for men to seek treatment and emotionally open-up. Studies show that men who are unable to express their feelings openly may be less able to recognise indicators of mental health problems in themselves and are less willing to seek help.
Men may also be more likely to use potentially harmful coping methods such as drugs or alcohol and less likely to talk to family or friends about their mental health.
Our goal is to help everyone with mental health, regardless of age, gender or race. If you, or a man you know, is struggling with mental health, take a look at our list of the top men’s mental health resources for men to educate themselves on mental health and seek support when necessary.
How We Can Reduce Mental Health Stigma?
In their 2018 report, the World Health Organisation emphasised that the cultural stigma surrounding mental health is one of the main obstacles to people admitting that they are struggling and seeking help. Reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is one thing we can do as a culture to ensure more people get the treatment they need.
While we have made significant progress in eliminating stigma, normalising treatment for mental health concerns, and making therapy more accessible to more people, many people still believe sadness is just a lack of mental fortitude.
So, how can we reduce mental health stigma?
Share your story
If you have suffered from mental health issues of your own, sharing stories about your experiences and journey can help to normalise the issue, reduce the stigma, and encourage others to speak out about what they are experiencing
Ask for help
Remind yourself and others that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness as it is often considered – it is OK and not something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of.
Having open conversations with friends and family about emotions, feelings and mental health and wellbeing can normalise the conversation and allow people to feel comfortable reaching out for help when they need it.
Charities and organisations that offer mental health support and education can be beneficial to anyone struggling with their mental health, share their websites and social media channels with those you think may benefit from it or to your social media accounts. Some people may not feel comfortable seeking this information for themselves, so stumbling across it on social media may be the only way they will discover the information.
Attending local men’s get-togethers and support groups and places for men to speak about their mental health and challenges they’re facing with other men can allow a safe-space for sharing coping strategies, getting help and making people feel less-alone in their struggle. Groups like Breathe: ManCave (a monthly get-together for men in Nottinghamshire) are great for this. Look up “men’s mental health groups near me” to find what your local area has on offer!