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Breaking the Silence: Men's Mental Health Matters

Breaking the Silence: Men's Mental Health Matters

Did you know that 1 in 8 men in the UK experience a mental health problem and 75% of suicides are men? Many of us might not realise the severity of these statistics, but it’s crucial to understand that our fathers, brothers, partners, and male friends are important to us. We need to let them know that we are here for them.

There is a pervasive stigma surrounding men and their ability to share and express their feelings. This stigma often prevents men from seeking the help they need, which is why it’s vital to encourage open conversations. Asking those around us to talk, listen, encourage, and check in is a step towards breaking down these barriers.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health refers to our emotional wellbeing, how we feel about ourselves, our ability to socialise, and our capacity for personal development. There are many types of mental health problems, each affecting individual differently. Some common issues include:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Problems
  • Panic Attacks
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stress
  • Sleep Problems
  • Self-harm


What Can I Do as a Man to Help My Own Mental Health?

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. Here are some strategies to help you maintain your mental wellbeing:

  1. Stay Connected: Regularly talk to friends, family, or colleagues. Social connections can provide emotional support and practical advice.
  2. Stay Active: Physical activity is known to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Even a daily walk can make a significant difference.
  3. Eat Well: A balanced diet helps maintain energy levels and cognitive function, which can positively affect your mood.
  4. Get Enough Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for mental health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  5. Manage Stress: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as through mindfulness, meditation, or hobbies you enjoy.
  6. Taking Care of Your Skin - Doing your skincare as a man isn't just a trend… Keeping your skin healthy and looking its best can also boost your confidence and wellbeing. Here are some simple tips:
  • Cleanse Daily: Use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil.
  • Exfoliate Weekly: This helps remove dead skin cells and promotes new cell growth.
  • Moisturise: Keep your skin hydrated to prevent dryness and irritation.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen daily.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin and body healthy.


What Support is Available?

Speaking up to those around you is one of the first things you can do if you are suffering from mental health problems. However, sometimes you may not be able to. Various services and charities provide information and support:

  • Speak to Your GP: Your GP can assess your circumstances, listen to your concerns, and offer appropriate advice and treatments. They may refer you to a specialist mental health service if necessary.
  • PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide): This organisation offers confidential support to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide. You can call them at 0800 068 4141 or text them at 88247 for advice.
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): CALM supports men under 45 who are struggling with mental health issues. Contact them at 0800 58 58 58.
  • Mind: Mind is a mental health charity that offers support and information to help you understand your mental health condition. Reach out to them at 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.

What Can You Do to Help?

Supporting those around you and checking in with your loved ones is crucial. Let them know they can speak to you if they ever need to. It’s also important to be aware of your support network, whether it’s friends, family, your GP, or various support services and charities.

Raising awareness and funds for charity is another impactful way to help. The Movember Foundation is a leading charity changing the face of men’s health, campaigning every November (Men’s Mental Health Month) to raise awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. Participate by growing a moustache, getting physically active, or hosting an event with friends to raise money and awareness.

At General & Medical, we understand the importance of looking after your health both physically and mentally. That’s why when you take out a Private Health Insurance policy with us, you’ll have access to our Health and Wellbeing Support Services, including confidential telephone counselling. Speak with fully trained and qualified counsellors about a wide range of topics, including your mental health, work-life, family life, and more.

Let’s work together to break the stigma and support men’s mental health. Every conversation can make a difference.

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