Today brings a close to Men’s Health Week… but that does not mean that we should stop talking about it! Although the aim of this week is to raise awareness for the multiple health conditions that affect men, we at SeeTheUniverse would like to take the opportunity to focus on male mental health.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50.
- Men are much less likely than women to seek help in regards to their mental health; with just 36% of NHS referrals for talking therapies being for men.
- Men are 3-times more likely than women to become dependant on alcohol as well as being 3-times more likely to report frequent us of drugs.
- According to the Government’s wellbeing survey, men report to be much less satisfied with life in comparison to women.
- 87% of rough sleepers are male.
- Men make up the majority of the UK prison population. Within prisons there are higher rates of poor mental health and self-harm.
- 75% of recorded suicides are men. With even higher rates among minority groups such as non-heterosexual men, war veterans, men from BAME backgrounds and men with lower than average incomes.
These are rather shocking facts and figures. What is even more worrying is that these numbers are likely to be much higher, as there are predicted to be many more men who have not reported their mental health conditions, as well as many suicides that do not get reported.
It is important that we support the men in our lives; especially through the tough times. It is not acceptable for society to still be forming such a large stigma around men and their emotions.
Having feelings does not make you any less of a man.
Talking about those feelings does not make you any less of a man.
Asking for help does not make you any less of a man.
You are human. You have a right to express your thoughts and feelings.
As a society, we need to stop using phrases such as, ‘man-up’, ‘don’t be such a girl!’, ‘men don’t cry.’
These can all be detrimental to a person’s mental health. We should not be belittling men for their emotions and instead be encouraging them to talk openly. We need to work together to break down the stigma around men and mental health.