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Men’s Health Week: Supporting men to share their mental health concerns

12 Jun 24

This week we mark Men’s Health Week and are focusing on the importance of encouraging men to speak up and share their mental health worries.

A photo of a hand holding a blue ribbon with a blue sky in the background. On top of this photo, there is a dark blue text box saying "Men's Health Week 10 to 16 June". Below this text box, there is a graphic of a heart in hands next to a logo for the Men's Health Forum.

Statistics show that whilst both men and women say they find it difficult to talk about their mental health concerns, this is something that affects men more than women. Research has also shown that while men are likelier to rate their mental health positively than women, men continue to account for three-quarters of suicides registered in the UK.

The latest statistics show:

Only 36% of all NHS referrals for psychological therapies are for men. Men are less likely to seek help for their mental health (Mental Health Foundation)

Would be concerned about taking time off work, whilst 46% of men would be embarrassed or ashamed to tell their employer (Men's Health Forum)

Is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50 in the UK (Calm Zone)

Of deaths by suicide are males, and they are three times more likely to die by suicide than women (Mental Health Foundation)

Identifying the symptoms

Here are some of the common signs and symptoms associated with mental illness:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
  • Noticeable changes in mood
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Constant low energy
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Ignoring personal hygiene

Men often feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about their mental health. However, there is support available for men across the whole country. Below you can find details of the mental health and support services available in Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Bucks:

National Support

MANUP? Men’s Mental Health Charity which is aiming to change minds about MEN's mental health and raise awareness about mental health among men. www.manup.how

Men’s Sheds Connection, conversation and creation – that’s what joining a Men’s Shed is all about. Men’s Sheds encourage people to come together to make, repair and repurpose, supporting projects in their local communities - improving wellbeing, reducing loneliness and combatting social isolation. www.menssheds.org.uk

Grassroots Suicide Prevention Supporting male suicide prevention. www.prevent-suicide.org.uk

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds Offering support to Veterans and Armed Forces family members struggling with depression, anxiety and anger. Tel: 0808 2020 144, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. For out of hours or urgent support telephone Combat Stress Tel: 0800 1381619. www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/mental-health-and-wellbeing/hidden-wounds-service

Men’s Health Forum Provides practical information and guidance for men such as stress, addiction, sex & physical wellbeing, including an online forum. www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) Resources, information and a helpline providing support. Tel: 0800 58 58 58, 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year. www.thecalmzone.net

Becoming a Man (BAM) BAM is a mental well-being intervention programme that aims to support young men’s personal development by taking into account their lived experience and the often difficult environments they must navigate. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/programmes/families-children-and-young-people/becoming-man-bam

Men’s Mental Health Support for when you need it. https://wellbeinghub.scot/resource/mens-mental-health/


Regional Support – Herts, Essex, Norfolk and Bucks

HPFT Single Point of Access (SPA) Single Point of Access (SPA) 24/7 Mental Health Helpline
Herts residents of all ages can contact our 24/7 Single Point of Access (SPA) Mental Health Helpline team at any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year. The team can provide support for Herts residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis, need some mental health support or just want to talk on: Freephone 0800 6444 101.

Mind in Mid Herts Providing prevention, recovery and support services in Hertfordshire to empower people to take control of their mental health. https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/

#TalkSuicide If you are in Hertfordshire area and are looking for help, support or just to meet new people there is lots available. https://letstalkaboutsuicide.co.uk/mens-health-hertfordshire/

Spectrum - Hertfordshire Drug and Alcohol Services Out-of-hours helpline providing advice on drug and alcohol use. Tel: 0800 652 3169. www.changegrowlive.org

JOCA - Just One Click Away Set up by Welwyn Rugby Club, this local service provides support, guidance and a friendly ear, especially for men. Email: joca@welwynrfc.co.uk 24/7 www.jocawrfc.co.uk

Mind Mid and North East Essex Local independent mental health charity, we are here to help. If you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis, we will work with you, respecting your wishes and experiences, to help you build the future you want. https://mnessexmind.org/

Essex Working Well Essex men and lads are literally dying of embarrassment – too fearful, ashamed or proud to ask for help from their GP, friends, family or colleagues. https://essexworkingwell.co.uk/latest-news-from-essex-working-well/mental-health-support-groups-for-men-in-essex/

Mind Norfolk and Waveney There are a number of local support groups including Kindness Cafes, Walk and Talk groups, Arts and Crafts and Men Only Support Groups - https://www.norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk/community-support-groups

MensCraft MensCraft is a Norfolk-based charity focusing exclusively on the health and wellbeing of men. We support men facing life’s challenges or experiencing difficulties with their mental health - https://menscraft.org.uk/

All to Play For (Norfolk) A weekly socially inclusive drop-in football programme for men aged 18+ struggling with poor mental health, which has made a significant and positive impact on the lives of participants. https://www.activenorfolk.org/public/get-active/all-to-play-for/

8:56 Men’s Time (Norfolk) Bringing men together through sport to improve their mental health & reduce the risk of loneliness & isolation. www.856foundation.org.uk

HeadsUp (Bucks Council) Heads Up is a joint campaign between the NHS and Bucks County Council to help men get happy and stay happy. It has been set up to help men identify and deal with issues that tend to crop up in life from time to time. The website also offers help to friends and family of a man they might be able to support - www.thisisheadsup.org

Mind The Gap Launching a weekly men’s peer support group at the Healthy Living Centre in Aylesbury, starting Wednesday 2 March, from 11am to 1pm. https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/mind-the-gap-mens-group/

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