Mental health: Why it matters for men
Things happen in life, like difficulties with work or finances, the breakdown of a relationship, overwhelming family responsibilities, or a significant setback. These challenges can take a serious toll on your mental health, if left unchecked. Many men tough it out and struggle alone.
Establishing and maintaining relationships, talking about the hard stuff in life and taking action when times are tough are proven ways for men stay mentally healthy and cope with the stress of everyday life. Good overall health and wellbeing is linked to not only to better mental health but also reduces the likelihood of suicide.
Some signs of poor mental health include feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless and behaviors such as aggression, drinking more than usual and isolating yourself from friends and family.
Some ways to look after your mental health
- Do more of the things that make you feel great and help you to de-stress
- Spend time with friends
- Share what’s going on, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed
Mental Health and Suicide
Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men. The distress a man experiences at these times can distort his thinking so it becomes harder for him to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support.
There are a number of factors that have been linked to an increased risk of suicide, including:
- Previous family or personal history of mental illness
- Harmful drug and alcohol use
- Isolation or loneliness
- Ongoing stressful life situations such as unemployment, relationship difficulties or chronic health issues
We need to talk
If you or someone you know are emotionally distressed or in crisis, the most important first step is to talk. Begin a conversation with a friend, family member, health professional or support service. Advice and effective tools are available.
Talking, listening and being there for someone doing it tough can be lifesaving. Check in if you know someone is going through a difficult time. Ask if they are doing okay and be prepared to listen.
If you or someone you know is at risk, contact your local crisis or emergency services.
To speak with someone immediately, contact Samaritans on 116 123.
If life is in danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.
Time to Change have a campaign specifically for men called ‘Be in your mates corner‘