Mental health problems can affect anyone but discrimination and stigma can make people apprehensive to opening up about their experiences and seek help. Mental health in men continues to be a taboo subject, with many men suffering in silence when they experience feelings of sadness, loneliness or anxiety.
The societal gender norms that men should be “tough” and “fearless” further complicates this issue as many men feel they are not a “man” if they show any sign of weakness. Men may fail to recognise or act on warning signs and may be unwilling or unable to seek help. It’s important to recognise the signs and encourage each other to speak about how we are feeling – there’s no shame in feeling vulnerable, lost or sad; everyone experiences these emotions.
It’s important to recognise and pay attention to various warning signs such as increased risk-taking behaviour, addiction, loss of enthusiasm and changes in diet or routine, remember warning signs can be multiple or singular.
Some mental health statistics and facts
• 76% of suicides are committed by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 in the UK
• 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
• Men are a lot less likely to access psychological therapies than women, with only 36% of referrals being men, reflecting the suffering in silence
What is national men’s health week?
Men’s Health Week is usually in June and each year a theme is selected i.e. in 2017 it was all about belly fat. This was the chosen topic because it’s the type of fat that’s bad for your health and men are more likely to have it. The campaign encouraged you to “MOVE MORE, EAT WELL, WATCH THE BOOZE”. Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, cancer and depression. So it’s important to keep your body healthy to help keep your mind healthy.
Safeline is a charity that aims to help support individuals who have either suffered sexual violence or may be at such risk of abuse, especially those whose mental health issues suggest they are at increased risk.
Safeline also aims to help those who suffer in silence from an array of mental health issues. In many cases, this can range from depression, phobia, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. Or it can be more than one. Safeline provides the opportunity to discuss these feelings in a safe way with those who understand and who can help in the recovery process. Safeline offers a dedicated UK male helpline, which is open seven days a week.
What services do Safeline offer?
Safeline offers a multitude of services to those men affected by mental illness. These services include the following:
Counselling comes in the form of face to face meetings, online counselling, group work, and creative therapies. There is something for everyone depending on your needs.
This is available from Monday to Saturday and there is a dedicated UK male helpline offering you a safe place to speak. This can be used to provide immediate emotional support as well as advice to those suffering in silence. You can reach the helpline via text, phone or online chat. Further details can be found on the www.safeline.org.uk/contact-us page
Safeline works to educate and support vulnerable children and young people to help keep them safe and provide them with the knowledge and support required to realise their full potential.
One in six men have been targets of rape or sexual abuse within the UK. Abusers don’t discriminate and if you’ve found yourself the victim of rape or sexual abuse, don’t suffer in silence; we are here to provide emotional and practical support for those who choose to report their abuse to the police and we continue to support them through the CJS.
If you find yourself suffering in silence and want to access help and support, please www.safeline.org.uk/contact-us