It is estimated that one in five women have a mental health condition compared to one in eight men. However, suicide is the leading cause of death in men aged 20–49 in the UK with three out of four suicides in Britain being men. So why, if on paper more women are suffering from mental health conditions, is suicide so prevalent in men? The answer is seeking help.
Societal expectations and perception that seeking help is a sign of weakness means men are 40 per cent more likely than women to hide a mental health problem for two years or longer, and this is having fatal consequences.
On a positive note, there is much more awareness around this gender split. Organisations, charities, celebrities and the media are all doing more to shine a spotlight on this issue and help to destigmatise the subject.
In addition, technology is playing an increasingly vital role in helping individuals to take the first step to seeking help. More GP surgeries are now offering remote appointments over the phone or via video chat, which we know from our own experience at Caridon Foundation of working with men suffering mental health issues, this can be preferable. Sometimes people find it very hard to explain their feels and fears face-to-face, but over the phone can feel less intense.
In addition, people can access NHS talking therapies or psychological therapies via self-referral online. This eliminates the requirement of speaking to a GP at all and can be preferable for some men who do not feel comfortable asking for support due to the stigma associated with it. E-therapy can also be provided to help people start treatment from the comfort of their home.
More information on this can be found HERE
The NHS also provides a range of mental wellbeing audio guides for people who perhaps don’t feel ready to speak to someone but need some guidance on navigating feelings of anxiety or low mood. These can be found HERE
There has also been a reported rise in mental health app usage and searches during the pandemic. In the digital world we now live, accessing information support via an app can be ideal for those who wish to remain completely anonymous and explore what they are feeling further before speaking to a medical practitioner.
A list of Apps recommended by NHS to help people manage their emotions, negative thoughts, and urges to self-harm can be found HERE
The main point of these services is to help remove pressure and fear for those who recognise they need some support but don’t know where to go to get it or are afraid to speak out.
Don’t suffer in silence. Please take your first step to positive mental health today.