Why does it seem to be more difficult for men to address their own mental health? 

Mental health problems can affect anyone but discrimination and stigma can make people apprehensive to opening up about their experiences and seek help. Mental health in men continues to be a taboo subject, with many men suffering in silence when they experience feelings of sadness, loneliness or anxiety. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK because stigma and the ‘strong man image’ prevents them from seeking help.

EDAMH recognises the need to respond to gender specific needs of men who are experiencing poor mental health and have developed our service to respond to these needs. Our support includes the choice to work with a male support worker on a one to one basis, support groups and a men’s walking group. 

I can talk to my worker about anything without feeling that I am being judged. It’s good to be able to talk to another man, who understands the way I feel.

In a 2016 survey of 1,112 employed men conducted by Opinion Leader for the Men’s Health Forum concluded that:

  • 34% would be embarrassed or ashamed to take time off work for mental health concern such as anxiety or depression compared to 13% for a physical injury. (Amongst men with mental health concerns, 46% are embarrassed or ashamed.)
  • 38% would be concerned that their employer would think badly of them if they took time off work for a mental health concern – compared to 26% for a physical injury. (Amongst men with mental health concerns, 52% are concerned.)

A survey conducted by YouGov for the Mental Health Foundation (2016) found that:

  • 28% of men had not sought medical help for the last mental health problem they experienced compared to 19% of women.
  • A third of women (33%) who disclosed a mental health problem to a friend or loved one did so within a month, compared to only a quarter of men (25%).
  • Over a third of men (35%) waited more than 2 years or have never disclosed a mental health problem to a friend or family member, compared to a quarter of women (25%)

The walking group has helped me to be able to socialise and talk to other men with mental health problems. It showed me that I am not alone and can get better.