Each day during Men’s Health Week, we’re posting articles to raise awareness of commons health issues for men. Today: mental health.
“In England, around 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem. However, men may be reluctant to seek support for their mental health or disclose mental health problems to loved ones.” – Mental Health Foundation. Statistics have shown that 1 in 3 men in England have experienced suicidal thoughts as a result of feeling stressed, and suicide is the largest cause of death in men under the age of 50. Because of this, it’s important to adopt some activities and habits to help reduce and manage stress.
Mental health is not a fixed state, everyone has good and bad days and we all struggle with our mental health in some way during our lifetime.
Mental health is affected by all of the things in our life – our relationships, job, money worries and even how much we sleep. How you feel may change from day to day or month to month depending on a whole host of things. If you think you are struggling with your mental health, or things are getting too much, you should talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Speaking about your problems often helps to lighten the load, and gives you a way to move forward.
You might be struggling with your mental wellbeing if you feel some of the following:
- Feeling low often or for long periods of time
- Feeling intensely worried or nervous often or for long periods of time
- Compulsions to repeat certain actions or rituals
- Smoking, drinking or taking drugs more than usual
- Having problems focusing, or becoming forgetful
- Experiencing unusual aches and pains
- Having persistent unwelcome thoughts that you can’t shift
- Avoiding certain situations and people in everyday life
- Feeling angry for no apparent reason, or when small things don’t go the way you hoped
- Not seeing a way forward because of your situation – for example money or relationship worries
- Feeling helpless or worthless about yourself or your situation
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Delusions or distortions in how we perceive the world around us.
It can also be difficult to talk about your Mental Health with your friends and family because of a feeling of shame or embarrassment. It’s important to remember you’re not alone and that there is a way to move forward, no matter what you’re going through.
- Talk to CALM from 5pm to midnight everyday. Our professional helpline workers are there to talk and to help you find ways to move forward. Calls and webchats are free, anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.
- Outside of these hours, call the Samaritans on 116 123.
- Contact your GP for an appointment.
- Self-refer yourself to NHS Psychological Therapies.
- Hertfordshire Mind Network.
There are loads of things that can help you feel better, from changing what you eat and how much you exercise, to seeking talking therapy or taking medication. Our mental wellbeing is affected by all of the things in our lives. Everyone is different and there is no one size fits all way to care for your mental health – but here are some things to try if you are struggling. The important thing is to find what works for you.
The Men’s Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently the Men’s Health Forum is the only UK charity doing this and they need your support, click here for their fund-raising page.