International Men's Day: it’s time to talk

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Health Assured team

15 November 2021

One in eight men in England has suffered from a mental health issue. And three out of four suicides are by men.

These staggering statistics show that we need to take action and help men who are struggling. Men have been suffering in silence due to unrealistic stereotypes and unrealistic expectations. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The 19th of November marks International Men’s Day, which aims to spread the word about the importance of mental health. So we’re urging men, and women, to talk to each other. Start the conversation. Talk to someone you trust about how you feel and reach out to check on others around you. When you show you care, they know you are there.

Wondering how you can make a difference? Here are some tips for starting the conversation with the men in your life.

Reach out

Loneliness can be a killer. It can intensify the effects of a mental health issue dramatically. Reaching out to a friend doesn’t have to take long. A quick text or phone call costs nothing. But it’s enough to show that you’re thinking of someone. This then opens the door to further conversation if you think they might be suffering. More often than not, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Next time you're reminded of a friend or family member, drop them a text and see what happens. The impact of these small actions is enough to change how the future unfolds.

Ask: how can I help?

Think there might be something up? Rather than giving advice, changing the subject or rushing off to your next task—ask how you can help instead. You'll then be opening up the conversation with a question they can respond to. They might turn you down the first time. But if this person is ever struggling in the future, then they know there’s someone they can turn to.

Listen

It’s one thing to hear what people say to you. But listening is a whole new realm entirely. Being present with the people close to you takes focus. Be attentive to the way people say things. Their body language, tone of voice and the emotions behind the words can tell a lot. It’s easy to get lost in storylines when someone is trying to tell us something. When you’re listening with all five senses, people feel seen, heard and noticed. And it can have a massive effect on what they share.

Acceptance

Acceptance can be a great tool to cope with the struggles of a mental health issue. Let the person your talking to know that it’s okay not to be okay. Recognise their emotions and try to understand where they are coming from, this can help them to feel accepted. It can calm any anxieties and relieve extra pressure they have placed on themselves.

If you’d like more information on men’s mental health, contact Health Assured on:

UK: 0844 891 0354

ROI: 01 886 0324

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