Anyone can experience mental health difficulties, but fear of judgement or discrimination may prevent people from opening up and seeking the support they need. This stigma tends to affect men disproportionately, and societal expectations and traditional gender roles are thought to play a big part in this.

Statistics

The mental health charity Mind has published a report which explores how men’s mental health has changed between 2009 and 2019, and the kind of challenges that men have been facing in more recent times. To read the full report, visit Mind.

Although there have been some improvements in men feeling able to seek help for their mental health, there is more to be done to ensure that men can access the support that they need.

Some of the key findings from the report are:

  • Two in five men (43%) admit to regularly feeling worried or low which is an increase from 37% in 2009.
  • The number of men who have suicidal thoughts when feeling worried or low has doubled to 10% since 2009.
  • Men are still more likely than women to drink alone or take recreational drugs to relax when feeling worried or down.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that in 2020, three times as many men as women died by suicide, and men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK. More information on these statistics can be found on the ONS website.

It is more important than ever to support men in being more open about their experiences, and to encourage them to seek the help that they need.

Someone holding a drawn sad face over their own

Why don’t men talk about mental health?

There are many misconceptions about mental health difficulties which make it hard for men to talk to others and take charge of their health.

“Real men don’t ask for help”
“I don’t want to appear weak”
“A man should be able to control his feelings”
“I’ve learnt to deal with it”
“I don’t wish to be a burden to anyone”
“I have no one to talk to”

For more information on some of the barriers men encounter when accessing mental health services, please see our page on Men’s mental health: barriers and tips.

Men's views of mental health and how they deal with it

The film below was developed by a PhD student at King's College London and features interviews with five different men discussing why it can be difficult to seek help and speak to others about their mental health. Topics covered include race, family, stereotypes, tips to manage their health and the benefits of speaking to others.

What can I do if I am worried about my mental health?

The Movember website has a page dedicated to general support and local services. This can be found by clicking here.

Keeping Well BLMK are here to listen to you and offer support. We offer a safe space to speak about your struggles and wellbeing needs and signpost to additional support.

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Useful contacts and organisations

There are mental health charities which offer a range of different types of support specifically aimed at men.

  • The Campaign Against Living Miserably - CALM:
    CALM provides a helpline which offers confidential, anonymous and free support, information and signposting to people anywhere in the UK. The helpline is open 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight. You can find more information on The Calm Zone.
  • Samaritans:
    Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential and emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts. They can be contacted by telephone, email or letter. You can find more information on Samaritans.
  • Men's Minds Matter:
    Dedicated to the prevention of male suicide by building psychological resilience and emotional strength. You can find further resources about men’s mental health on Men's Minds Matter.
  • The Men’s Sheds Association:
    These are community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. This charity aims to reduce male isolation by bringing together like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. You can find more information on The Men's Sheds Association.
  • Heads Up Guys:
    Website providing practical information on symptoms and risk factors for depression and how to combat it. It also provides a page where men are able to share their stories of recovery. You can find more information on Heads Up Guys.

References


Updated on: 20/04/2022