Men’s mental health has been rightfully highlighted across healthcare platforms and the media in the last few years. One such example is Movember, a month when issues faced by men in society are highlighted and opportunities for open discussions are created. Men’s mental health is a huge concern considering that in 2021, males accounted for 74% of all registered suicides in the UK.
International men’s day/men’s mental health month
Depression and anxiety have been diagnosed more in females than males but statistics show that males are less likely to reach out for support and professional help than women. A survey asking questions about why men don’t seek help for mental health concerns in the UK found that:
- A large proportion of men deny that they have any mental health concerns
- There’s a negative stigma around men seeking help
- Some men fear appearing weak and therefore, do not seek help
- Some men have feelings of embarrassment for reaching out for help
Behaviours and symptoms that are common for someone experiencing a mental health concern include but are not limited to:
- Withdrawing from activities like social events or hobbies
- Overwhelming sadness
- Persistent worrying
- Sleeping pattern changes
- Irritability and anger
- Alcohol abuse
- Obsessive working
- Reckless behaviour
How to help
It is normal to experience these symptoms in response to stressors. Men, in particular, report having work-related stress, financial stress and stress related to their own health. If the symptoms persist for weeks or months, it’s time to reach out to professional help like your General Practitioner. Online support platforms are also a great option to take into account when looking for professional help.
If you are looking for healthy coping strategies that could help you or if you are wanting to help someone who is experiencing mental health concerns, the following could be helpful:
- Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation can be done in the comfort of your home, office, car or anywhere safe and distraction-free. There are so many guided relaxation scripts, videos and audio clips on the internet and streaming services.
- Exercise is truly a great way to get those endorphins flowing. Going for a run, going to the gym, having a dance in the kitchen to your favourite song or taking a brisk walk are easy activities to ease into physical activities.
- Getting together with friends and family can be an amazing opportunity to relax and socialise with people who care for you. This is especially important if you’ve been a bit isolated and feeling lonely.
- Speaking to your partner, close friend or family member may help you organise your thoughts and emotions and may just be all you need to help you feel better. Having these conversations may also help you come up with some practical steps to feeling better. It may even give you the courage to seek professional help if it is warranted.
Seeking help takes courage and should be considered a positive step towards getting your life on track. Men’s mental health awareness campaigns like Movember are so important to support and validate those affected by mental health concerns.
This blog has been written in collaboration with Support Room, the online therapy and mental wellbeing experts. Anytime Fitness members can benefit from an exclusive discount with them and access therapy from just 80p per day. Visit AF Connect Online to find out more & claim your discount.