November is men’s mental health awareness month and following two years of uncertainty and ever-changing lives because of the pandemic, men’s mental health is at the forefront of concern again with growing number of males suffering from poor mental health.
According to mentalhealth.org, 1 in 8 men in England suffer from a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, OCD or panic disorder, but even more staggeringly, men are three more times to die by suicide than women are!
Campaigns like Movember run every year to help raise awareness, money and support for those who have mental health concerns and for those who are suicidal. Raising money by growing any sort of facial hair you can, people are showing their support with their good or bad beards and moustaches to those in need. Their campaign has all year round impacts on the people they are helping even though their main campaign is in November. Last year, they raised a massive £19.1 Million to be used for men’s mental health!
On a smaller scale, Little Lives UK run a campaign all year round called Someone To Talk To, this campaign is aimed at children of both genders and provides free counselling sessions to children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Though everyone should talk about their mental health and any problems they may be having, statistically men are less likely to speak about their mental health than women are because of the social ‘norms’ that tell us that men should be the strong bread winners of the family and not give in to their emotions. This is also apparent with younger males than females. Young men and boys are impressionable and if they see their dads, uncles or grandads just shrug off their stress and anxiety and just ‘carry on’, then they will learn that this is the way to handle their problems and possibly making their problems worst.
It is vital for a happy and healthy adult life to start with a healthy and happy childhood.
Campaigns like Movember and Someone To Talk To are vital in keeping men’s mental health a talked about subject and removing any taboo surrounding the problems that many men face. Little Lives UK are encouraging young men to speak up about their mental health and the things that make them anxious to their teachers, parents, local services and friends. Their campaign is accessible to children through schools, councils and counsellors and is easily applied for at littlelives.org.uk.
More information on men’s mental health can be found at www.mentalhealth.org.uk . There are useful links on who to talk to and how to get the help that is needed.