It is important not to generalise along gender lines for mental health – wellbeing does not have a one size fits all approach. Gender stereotypes also impact men too.
What is the current picture?
Three times as many men as women die by suicide.
Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK.
Men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women according to the Government’s national wellbeing survey.
Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
Nearly three-quarters of adults who go missing are men.
87% of rough sleepers are men.
Men are nearly three times as likely as women to become dependent on alcohol, and three times as likely to report frequent drug use.
Men are more likely to be compulsorily detained (or ‘sectioned’) for treatment than women.
Men are more likely to be victims of violent crime (1.5 more likely than women).
Men make up the vast majority of the prison population. There are high rates of mental health problems and increasing rates of self-harm in prisons.
What can I do if I’m worried about my mental health?
Making simple changes such as talking about your feelings, keeping active and eating well can help you feel better.
If you’re concerned you’re developing a mental health problem, talk to your GP. It can be daunting, but most people find that speaking to their GP and getting help and support can make a big difference to their lives.
If you’re in distress and need immediate help or are feeling like ending your life, please call 999 or go to A&E and ask for the contact of the nearest crisis resolution team. These are teams of mental health care professionals who work with people in severe distress.
I’m worried about someone’s mental health. How can I help them?
If you’re concerned about a friend or relative, there are things you can do to help them.
Let them know you’re there to listen to them without judgement.
Someone who is experiencing mental health problems may find it hard to reach out, so try to keep in touch. A text message or a phone call could make a big difference.
Find out about local services such as talking therapy or support groups. See if there are any specifically for men if you think they’d prefer that. Mind has an online directory of peer support groups in England and Wales.
Help them to get help. Reassure them it’s okay to ask for help, and that support is out there. You could help them contact their GP or accompany them to their appointment if they want you to.
Take care of yourself. Looking after someone else can be hard, so make sure you consider your wellbeing too.
CALM has a helpful webpage about what to do if you’re worried someone might be suicidal, including warning signs, what to say and what to do next.