Men’s mental health

Men’s mental health

19 June 2020

Whether you are one or know one, we all know that men tend to tick a little bit differently, especially around mental health. Dealing with it and talking about it doesn’t come naturally for most men. 

Some of this might be cultural, from expectations around what it is to ‘be a man’, which may come from family background or wider societal influences. Other factors that stop men talking can be pride, shame or the ‘banter culture’ that exists in men’s social circles. Or simply not having a suitable person or space to do so. 

We are, thankfully, beginning to see this change, which is so important given that suicide is the biggest killer of males under 45. However, change is not coming fast enough. 

There are lots of campaigns increasing awareness around mental health, with many specifically targeting men. CALM and Heads Together are a couple of examples. This is, of course, important, yet MindSpace Stamford’s passion is to increase not just awareness but also knowledge and understanding through the culture of safe spaces – where it is ‘OK not to be OK’. Our ethos is that through our work we can encourage better conversations between men, better listening skills and places where they feel more comfortable opening up. 

Whilst everyone is welcome at all our events, we recognise that men in particular find it difficult to open up and this is why we are very excited to be launching a specific Men’s Drop-in session, online for now, in the next few weeks. 

But what can you take away from reading this today? I would suggest that you think about who is the somebody that you can talk to about your life, be it a friend or relative or colleague. Check in with them, ask them if they are OK. Find out how their week has been. Is there anything bothering them right now? See where the conversation goes. If you have anything that you feel you need to share, then you’ve created the space for that to happen. This is called accountability and building this between yourself and a friend so that you can be open with each other about more personal issues is a really positive way to keep your mental health in good shape.  

Keep safe and keep up to date with our week-round online offer of events by looking on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. 

Dr Dan Petrie, Founder and Vice-Chair of Trustees

This was one of a series of MindSpace articles published in The Stamford Mercury during the Coronavirus lockdown.