Man up? Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month
Despite the importance of continuing global conversations about mental health all year around, November is the time of the year we pay particular attention to the mental health of those who identify as a man or male.
One man dies every minute, every day, from suicide.
As dedicated to supporting the feminist movement as I am, this movement by no means, is to say females’ mental health is not important. The movement is merely looking at the societal pressures men face, and the effect it has, disproportionately upon men’s mental health.
Males account for 75% of suicides in the UK.
The unfortunate figures highlighted throughout this post only accounts for the men who have reported their experience struggling with their mental health. Therefore, many of those who are undiagnosed, unheard, and unknown, are not accounted.
In the UK 1/8 men have a mental health problem.
So, why do men suffer disproportionately?
Well, everyone is different but, the persistent socialisation of men into traditional gender roles and norms typically make men emotionally illiterate in comparison to women.
Men are taught to be strong, stable, and emotionally balanced. Therefore, when men experience mental health difficulties, they either learn to deal with their suffering alone, or they suppress their emotions, so they are not faced with the societal stigma of being seen as emotional, weak, or unstable.
The Mental Health Foundation found only 36% of referrals made to the NHS therapy support services were made by men.
Societal pressures socialising men into traditional gender roles force men to be household ‘providers’ or ‘bread winners’. Therefore, any financial or career struggles men may face in their life, tend to affect their confidence, wellbeing, and mental health significantly.
However, alongside the struggles men universally face, racially minoritised men are at an even greater risk suffering from mental health difficulties, compared to their white peers.
Taking an intersectional approach, racially minoritised men have to simultaneously deal with the racialised and gendered pressures of our society. Therefore, the additional pressure of racism on a local and institutional level, exacerbates their economic and social hardships, which inevitably affects racially minoritised men’s mental health negatively, and disproportionately.
63% of African Americans believe depression is a personal sign of weakness.
In additional struggle, racially minoritised men who do reach out and ask for mental support, have unequal access to mental health support services compared to their white counterparts – due to institutional racism in the health care sector. Therefore, they are more likely to suffer from mental health difficulties as they are denied access to support services they need.
92% of depressed African American men say they did not seek professional support.
Let’s keep the conversation going
In light of high profile men such as, Freddie Flintoff, Prince Harry, Lil Wayne, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson … and many more using their platform to open up, and speak about their personal experiences suffering from mental illnesses, global conversations about men’s mental health are starting!
Here at Your Back Yard, our aim is to help people live healthier and happier lives, therefore we will be sharing information across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram platforms to raise awareness, and continue conversations about men’s mental health.
We run a ‘Men’s Film and TV Club‘ which meet every Thursday to discuss a TV show or film we decided to watch the previous week. This club is a great social for older men who may feel socially isolated! If you would like to join the club to meet likeminded people, you can sign up here to receive the weeks watch and zoom information.
We also host ‘Digital Cafes’ for older adults which aim to reduce their digital and social isolation. By getting older adults online, they have the skills and resources to join our online exercise classes and social clubs. If you want to better your physical health and mental wellbeing by getting online and joining our activities, check out our activity poster below!
Enough about us!
Here’s what you can do this month to support Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Grow a moustache to raise money for Movember
- Organise a sponsored run or walk for the men we have lost to suicide
- Check in on your male friends and family members
- Wear a green ribbon in support of the men’s mental health campaign
If you are worried about your or someone else’s metal health, here’s some useful resources in Leeds for you to find further support and information.
Specialist support services for Men:
General mental health support services in Leeds:
Specialist support services for BAME individuals: