Originally published at RSCPP.co.uk
Wednesday 19 November is International Men’s Day – an annual day focused on men’s health, positive male role models and improving gender relations. To mark the occasion, we’re looking at the mental health issues and conditions that particularly affect men, and why there remains a stigma about men speaking out.
The crisis of men’s mental health has particularly been in the spotlight recently, not least following the suicide earlier this year of celebrated actor Robin Williams. Statistics compiled by Men’s Health Forum show that 75% of people who take their own lives are men, while 72% of people being treated for depression are women. In the UK, suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 35 years old; 77% of UK suicides are male, with a total of 12 men every day deciding to end their lives.
By contrast, the statistics suggest that women are actually more likely to attempt suicide, but often use methods such as drug overdoses, which are less frequently fatal, while men often choose more violent and fatal methods to end their lives.
The statistics are horrifying, and clearly there is a huge disconnect between people affected by mental health conditions and those being treated for them. But men are finally starting to have that all important conversation. Movember, the charity moustache-growing initiative, which takes place throughout November and typically raises funds and awareness for male cancers, has this year added men’s mental health to the list of issues it hopes to highlight.
We asked three RSCPP therapists why it is that men are less likely to seek help and what can be done to tackle the ongoing taboo around men’s mental health…
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