Why it’s so important to talk about men’s mental health

Trigger warning: Talks and references to suicide

November is here, and while we may see some of our male friends and family sporting a moustache, we need to remember the reason behind ‘Movember’ and the importance of starting and continuing conversations around men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental health problems or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Globally, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, and men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK.

We are supporting men’s mental health month by sharing articles, wellbeing advice and videos speaking to men about their mental health struggles and the help they received through the Hope Project and Stepladder. Follow for more content @wearesecondstep.

Why do we need to talk about men’s mental health?

Many men keep their stresses and emotions to themselves believing they need to ‘man up’ to be a ‘real man’. So many men we talk to believe it’s weak to show their emotions. Consequently, men often feel they need to be strong and in control.  This can make it harder for men to reach out for help and open up. Research suggests that men who can’t speak openly about their emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and less likely to reach out for support. This can lead to a harmful coping method such as using alcohol and drugs.

One of our key messages this month is that there is support out there and one of the best places to find it is through Stepladder!

For more information and resources on men’s mental health, through our Stepladder project we have put together a resources page of things to watch, accounts to follow and articles to read. Please visit Men’s Mental Health Resources

We have also compiled a list of helpful books: 15 books focusing on men’s mental health

If you know someone that is struggling, or you need urgent help please dial 999 or call the Samaritans on 116 123 for free. There is other local support that can help such as Somerset Mindline on 01823 276 892.

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