Men’s mental health can be a taboo subject. Masculinity, pride, peer pressure and social norms can all lend themselves culturally to an environment in which men, more so than women, can feel isolated, alone and unable to express concerns over their mental wellbeing. Phrases such as ‘man up’, ‘real men don’t cry’ and ‘big girls blouse’ have become societal norms which should be challenged.
Update, May 2015: We've been contacted by Mike Elmer, who's based in America and heard about the campaign. Mike has been kind enough to share a powerful story about his experience with an eating disorder. You can click here to read it for yourself.
Let’s talk about MENtal health
Throughout 2015, the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust membership campaign is focusing on men’s mental health and wellbeing: challenging perceptions, showcasing our services, highlighting available support and encouraging conversations.
1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, occupation, race, just like any other health issue, however stigma and misunderstanding can be barriers to seeking help.
It is a common preconception that men tend to put off getting any kind of help because they think they are supposed to be tough, self-reliant, and able to manage pain and take charge of situations. This can make it hard for men to acknowledge they have any health problems, let alone a mental health problem.
There are some startling figures out there:
72% of people treated for depression are women, yet 75% of people who take their own lives are men.
Suicide is the single most common cause of death in men under 35.
Men with mental health conditions are:
Throughout 2015 the membership campaign will focus on the following topics:
February - Home Truths: Men in Crisis
March - Uppers & Downers: addictions and how men cope
April - Hidden Lives: little-talked-about issues for men
May - Tough Turf: unhealthy aspects of sport
June - Employment Special
July - Men in Focus: spotting the warning signs
August - Meaning of Masculinity: what does it mean to be a man in 2015?
22 September 2015 - Annual Members’ Day
October - Kick into Touch: linking physical health and mental wellbeing
November - Find Your Tribe: info on groups and services in your area