International Men’s Day: Health trust encourages men to speak about mental health

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging men to speak about their mental health in recognition of Men's Health Awareness Month and International Men's Day, which falls today, Saturday November 19.
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The targeted health awareness month marks an important time to talk about mental health and how we can reduce stigma, change societal expectations and increase the likelihood of support uptake among men.

Following uncertainty because of the pandemic, men’s mental health is at the forefront of concern again with a growing number of males suffering from poor mental health.

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Figures from mentalhealth.org report that one in eight men in England suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD or panic disorder. Men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, with males aged between 45 and 49 at the highest risk.

Men are being encouraged to speak about mental health as part of International Men’s Day.Men are being encouraged to speak about mental health as part of International Men’s Day.
Men are being encouraged to speak about mental health as part of International Men’s Day.

Reports worryingly suggest that men consider taking their own lives because of pressure, anxiety and stress from trying to conform to the traditional societal expectations and gender roles and mask feelings of sadness and worry.

Chris Oliver, Interim Chief Executive Officer at LSCft, said: “For us it’s really important that we raise awareness of this issue because quite simply, anyone taking their own life is one too many.

“As a trust we are encouraging men to talk, not just in November but throughout the year, if they are struggling with their mental health. We, as well as many other services and charities, are here for you and will support you.

“Men’s Health Awareness Month and International Men's Day act as conversation starters around men’s mental health. We recognise there is often stigma attached but we want to break down these barriers and remind men and their families that we offer mental health support that will always be non-judgemental and approachable.”

Young men and boys are impressionable so it is vital these open discussions start early and role models are aware their attitudes to mental health can influence lifelong behaviours. If males see their dads, uncles or grandads shrug off their stress and anxiety then they will learn that this is the way to handle their problems.

A recent survey by Mind found that three in 10 men said they wouldn’t think that feeling worried or low was important enough to ask for help. LSCft want to reiterate that is a legitimate reason to ask for help and help is available throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with wellbeing please ask for help. LSCft have a dedicated Wellbeing Helpline and Texting Service. The service is available Monday to Friday 7pm to 11pm and Saturday to Sunday noon to midnight.

This service is staffed by volunteers and those with lived experience, who can offer emotional support and talk about mental health.

Contact the helpline by calling 0800 915 4640 or by texting Hello to 07860 022 846.