What Is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and How Can I Support It?
We’re discussing mental health more now than we ever have before. People are becoming more open about their mental health, and we’re all learning better ways to support each other.
But people may often underreport men’s mental health, with men not reaching out for the support they need. And that’s where Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month comes in, bringing attention to men’s mental health.
If you’d like to support Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, you could do it in many ways. You might hold an event to raise awareness and money for a mental health charity or organisation. You could raise money through a car boot sale or coffee evening, get people to sponsor you in a race or a competition, or reach out to your workplace or your child’s school to see whether there’s anything they could do to raise awareness.
What are the statistics for Men’s Mental Health?
- Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (Reference: ONS)
- 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women – Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.
Male Stress Statistics
- 9% described themselves as severely or extremely stressed
- 8% strongly agreed that “Overwork and stress caused by a need to achieve on the job or in school affects or hurts my life”
- 34% agreed or strongly agreed that they were “constantly feeling stressed or under pressure” and 11% strongly agreed.
- 12% of men said that the last time they were prompted to take time off work to see a GP was because they were “constantly feeling stressed or under pressure” and 11% because of “Prolonged feelings of sadness”.
According to Richardson Healthcare, one in eight men in England faces common mental health problems. 77% of men polled said they experienced some level of symptoms such as anxiety, stress, or depression.
The top three issues are:
- Work-related pressure – 32%
- Financial pressures – 31%
- Health concerns – 23%
The stigma around masculinity
One of the most significant challenges in men’s mental health is society’s deeply ingrained expectations around masculinity. Men are often habituated to be stoic and tough and to hide their vulnerabilities. This societal pressure can make it difficult for them to open up about their struggles. MMHM aims to challenge these stereotypes and create a safe space for men to discuss their emotions and seek help.
How to Support a Partner With Mental Illness
If your partner has a mental health disorder:
- Let them know that you are there for them and love them.
- Listen to their experience and validate what they are feeling.
- Ask how you can best support them.
- Acknowledge any positive shifts or changes they have made.
- If they’re comfortable, you might attend healthcare visits together to learn how you can both cope with their condition.
It’s also important to build a supportive community of friends and family around you. Joining a support group can also help you connect with others in a similar situation and share your experiences. To best help your partner, you must take care of your emotional needs, too.
Whether it be your brother, husband, a colleague or anyone you care about, we believe that all men should have access to the resources they need to take care of their mental health