Top tips for looking after men’s mental health

Around 1 in 8 UK men suffer from a common mental illness. 3 out 4 suicides are committed primarily by men. Why is it that so few men are willing to take time off from work to address mental health issues such as low mood or depression?
Stigma.

Although stigma is still prevalent for most mental health issues to some extent, it is more common in men’s mental well-being. Many cultures consider men to be males. Any admission they need help could be seen as weakness. Men are more likely than women to use drugs to manage their mental health. This can result in them being classified as addicts, rather than someone with mental problems.

Talking about mental health is one of the best ways for men to get rid of stigma. Celebrities of men have shared their mental health stories over the years to make it easier for others to understand and to seek help.

Men’s mental health roles models

Dwayne “The Rock Johnson”

No matter who you are, or what your profession is, depression can strike regardless of where you live.

Steven Gerrard

“I believe the key to it all, I think, is never keeping it inside and never thinking it’s the right thing.

Ryan Reynolds

“I get depressed easily and have anxiety issues and other problems”

Freddie Flintoff

“The hardest thing was talking.”

Michael Phelps

“I can remember sitting in my bedroom for 4 or 5 days, not wanting to be alive, and not speaking to anyone”

Olly Murs

“Under it all, I was worrying about what would happen and was actually depressed.”

Support for men’s mental well-being is available from where?

Early intervention is key to any mental health condition. Early intervention is key to preventing mental illness from deteriorating into self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Research shows that men are more likely than women to seek out mental health support online, anonymously, and at any hour of the day. Therefore, our recommendations emphasize support methods that address these conditions.

Forums & support groups

Many venues offer events that allow men to meet up and talk about mental health in a non-judgmental environment. You can either seek advice, share your experiences, offer support to other men or simply to join the session with your microphone off and listen to what’s being said.

Apps for mental health

Shawmind is partnering with Flourishzone, an AI-powered wellbeing app that improves mental health and wellbeing for 1000 people in the UK. Flourishzone gives you access to your private world, where you can learn any skills that you desire, including resilience and practical mental healthcare skills.
Support lines

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably), has a helpline and webchat that you can use between 5pm and midnight, 365 days a year. CALM is dedicated to helping men feel suicidal and need support. They say that “Being silent doesn’t make you strong.”

Four tips for men’s mental health

While men need to take care of their mental health just as seriously as anyone else, it can be difficult to know where to begin. These are some ways to look after your mental well-being.

Do lots of exercise. Even a quick walk can make a huge difference to your mental well-being.
Talk to your loved ones and friends regularly to keep in touch (and to help each other when something happens).
Even if your family and/or job requires you to take care of them, you must make time for yourself. You can’t look after anyone else if it’s not you.
Drink well and eat well. Your mental health can impact your physical health, and vice versa. It is important to take care of both!

Mental health isn’t a weakness. It can get much worse if it is not treated early.