The Picture of Men’s Mental Health and How You Can Help Someone Who is Struggling
By JustBe Croydon
June is Men’s Health Month, four weeks dedicated to raising awareness of health issues that can affect men and boys across the UK. Statistically on average, men have a life expectancy that is five years shorter than women, but what is truly shocking is that men make up three quarters of those who take their own lives. This Men’s Health Month we want to help men to stay happy and offer advice for family and loved ones who might be supporting a man who’s struggling with their mental health.
Across England and Wales, suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years. For men, fitting in can often mean keeping their emotions bottled up. Some men may feel that it’s not manly to share their feelings, even if keeping them inside is affecting their mental health.
Unfortunately, keeping all of those worries under wraps can be damaging to a man’s mental wellbeing and may actually stop them from seeking help. Some men can become used to keeping their feelings hidden, which means they don’t recognise when it might be time to seek some support. Unlike women, who are more likely to speak out when they’re feeling low, men can often suffer in silence.
Spotting the signs
The symptoms of poor mental wellbeing in both men and women include:
- Losing interest in friends or hobbies they once enjoyed
- Being more short-tempered or irritable than usual
- Self-medicating with drink or drugs or engaging in reckless behaviour
- Changes to sleep schedule and appetite
- Struggling to concentrate
- Being unable to control negative thoughts
- Physical pain such as backache, headaches or digestive disorders.
How can I help?
Are you worried about the mental wellbeing of a male loved one? Below is a list of little things you can do to make sure they are taking care of themselves.
If you notice a friend, partner or relative is showing symptoms of depression, encourage them to seek help. Gather information on the services available to them, such as psychological therapy services or support groups nearby.
You can also encourage them to take steps to help themselves. Try urging them to take part in some exercise or sticking to a healthy diet, as well as reminding them to make time for the things they enjoy.
Don’t forget to check in on them as often as possible to remind them that you care, whether that means meeting them for a coffee or just texting them about their day.
Most importantly, be patient, and let them know you are there for them. Just knowing that you are willing to listen without judgment can do wonders for a person’s mental wellbeing.
With a lot of male celebrities starting to speak out about their own mental health difficulties, mental wellbeing has become less of a taboo subject. If you’re concerned, ask a loved one to take our Mind MOT. It only takes five minutes and can assess if someone is struggling with their mental health and offer suggestions of where to seek help in order to improve their mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Month: Statistics you should know
Along with keeping their mental wellbeing in check, here are a few statistics regarding physical health all men should be aware of this Men’s Health Month:
- Men with a waist size of 37 inches or more are at an increased of heart disease,
- diabetes and cancer
- 120/80 is the normal blood pressure level for a man
- It is recommended that men aim for 150 minutes (five half hour sessions) of moderate physical activity a week
- Both men and women should eat five portions of fruit and veg a day
- Men should drink a maximum 14 units of alcohol a week
- On average, cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than non-smokers.
These numbers can have a big impact on a man’s health and life expectancy. If you or a loved one are concerned about your physical health, give our Health MOT a try.