Men’s Mental Health
Despite strides in mental health awareness, societal expectations and traditional gender roles can often prevent men from seeking help or discussing their mental health challenges openly.
2 in 5 men admit to regularly experiencing feelings of worry or low moods, and the number of men having suicidal thoughts has doubled since 2009, as highlighted in Mind’s ‘Get It Off Your Chest Report 2019.
These numbers only hint at the hidden struggles men might face.
Ways to Support Yourself
Self-care is a crucial aspect of maintaining mental wellbeing. If you’re struggling with your mental health, here are some ways you can support yourself:
Join a group or club
Participating in a group or club gives an opportunity to be with people with similar interests to you. Other benefits of participating in a group includes feeling less lonely, increased self-esteem and improved mood.
Understanding this, Bath Mind offers weekly wellbeing groups that bring people with like-minded interests together. There’s a wide range of groups to choose from, including gardening, football, crafts, cooking and walking, so something for everyone!
Get enough sleep
When it comes to managing our mental health, poor sleep can affect our ability to think clearly, manage our emotions and can increase anxiety and worry.
There is no set amount of sleep that is right for everyone; some people need more sleep than others. Once you know how much sleep feels right for you, aim for that amount each night. Keeping a good sleep routine by going to bed and waking at similar times each day can help with this.
Enjoy regular physical activity
Studies show that regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and plays a vital role in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems. We are all drawn to different forms of physical activity that feel right for us. Consider exploring options such as yoga, walking, tennis, or engaging in a team sport like football.
As well as affecting our physical health, what we eat and drink can also affect how we feel. A good diet can help to improve our mood, give us more energy and help us think more clearly. Try to stay hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and by eating a variety of fruit and vegetables which will add a good range of nutrients to your diet. Frozen, tinned, dried and juiced fruits and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day – and can often be cheaper to buy too!
Be mindful of using drugs and alcohol
Be mindful of using substances like drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms for difficult emotions. While they may provide temporary relief, relying on them can worsen mental health issues in the long run. You may also depend on drugs and alcohol to help with feelings that you struggle to deal with in other ways.
It can feel hard to ask for help for drug and alcohol problems, and this may feel especially difficult if you also struggle with your mental health. But there are ways to get treatment and support for both. Visit the national Mind charity’s website for a list of place you can go for support.
Talk to someone
Traditionally, men have been less likely to seek support for mental health issues. This is probably for a number of reasons including stigma and the (incorrect) idea that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness.
It’s okay not to be okay. Talking to someone about your worries or low mood is crucial. You are never alone.
You could talk to your partner, friend, colleague, or your GP. You can also call Bath Mind on 0808 175 1369 any day of the week between 9am and 11pm for mental health support. Samaritans’ helpline 116 123 is also there for you – it’s open 24/7.
Additional Mental Health Support for Men
We understand that sometimes we need additional mental health support. Here are some organisations that provide support for men’s mental health: