Today – Monday 13th June – marks the beginning of Men’s Health Week . This year the theme is stress, and the Men’s Health Forum which promotes the week in the UK asks: ‘We all get stressed. The question is: what do you do about it?’.
Statistics show that
- 76% of suicides are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (ONS)
- 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women – Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.
The forum compares the chances of a man experiencing mental health problems is 3/1, similar to those offered against France or Germany winning the Euro 2016 football tournament. “In other words, it’s likely to happen sooner or later if we let stress build.”
This action against stress is reinforced by a lot of useful information on the Men’s Health Week web page. You can also download a ‘toolbox talk’ on beating stress HERE.
We have written about men’s mental health in the past a number of times. The key to success seems to be the encouragement to talk about the stress, depression and anxiety many experience but find it hard to describe, or open up about to friends or colleagues. It is really important to recognise the stress you are under, and take steps to address it. After all, statistics suggest:
- Men are less able to recognise warning signs, or to act on them, and are therefore less likely to contact support services. This is very similar to the male response to physical symptoms.
- There is an increased reliance on self-management or medication using alcohol or drug abuse which can wreak havoc on their own lives and those of their family and friends.
So if you are concerned about your own mental health, or that of someone you know, visit the Men’s Health Forum website and start the conversation now.
Here at The Terrace we have a number of counsellors skilled in the mental health needs of both sexes. Please do contact us for a no-obligation initial discussion – we are keen to help.