Men Can Cry Too - Focus on Mens Mental Health

Tue 16 Nov 2021

Men Can Cry Too - Focus on Mens Mental Health

June 2021 marked Paternal Mental Health Month and November 2021 marks Men's Health Month. Two good reasons to focus on men in this month’s newsletter. 

Here are the statistics. One in 5 women experience mental health problems compared to one in 8 men. Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men. Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women. 

Men are less likely to access talking therapies, more likely to have addictions, more likely to be homeless, more likely to experience violent crime and more likely to be in prison. 

To me there is only one real logical explanation here. That the first statistic is wrong and is based wholly on men seeking help, not the underlying group of men who are clearly struggling. 

Over a third of new fathers are worried about their mental health and 10% are diagnosed with post natal (in the first year of their babies life) depression. Services in this area are completely centred around the Mum with little support for Dads and that's for successful pregnancies. 

If we bring in statistics around baby loss and how frighteningly common this is, again there is very little support for men who have lost babies in pregnancy or through stillbirth. 

Recent conversations with friends and colleagues who have lost men in their lives through suicide and the common thread is that no one knew. No one suspected the man in their life was struggling. They had a good job, children, and a loving partner. Externally everything looked great. Recently at CST we took the pledge to ASK about suicide. ( check out The pledge is basically to open up the conversation. There is no evidence that talking about suicide makes someone more likely to commit suicide and a lot of evidence to suggest that it might just save someones life. 

If this article makes you want to get help for yourself or someone you know then please get in touch with ourselves or 999 in an emergency. 

For the men out there that are struggling know that you are not alone. You might find reaching out for help difficult but maybe reaching out and asking a friend, loved one or a professional for a walk, a run, a ride, might be easier. Talking when moving and without direct eye contact has been shown to be easier. For new Dads, it's worth stepping out of your normal comfort zone and collecting the mobile numbers of the Dads within the NCT or parenting group you are part of. It doesn’t need to be just the Mums who get together, the Dads need that support too. 

Keep in mind the ABCs of good mental health care. 

A - Avoid the perpetuating factors - alcohol, social isolation, junk food - whatever is on your list.

B - Breathe - use deep nasal breathing when you are feeling overwhelmed.

C - Connect - make time to meet up with friends.

D - Daily routine - having a routine around meal times and sleep reduces stress.

E - Exercise - try and move daily even just for 10 minutes

F - Feelings - try and understand what you are feeling, write it down, talk about it.

G - Gratitude - spend even just 5 minutes daily thinking about things you are grateful for.

H - Help - please ask for help if you find yourself thinking about suicide.

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