Men get sad too. And it is far too often overlooked. Unfortunately, this issue can often have dire consequences. There are statistics that shown that three times as many men as women die as a result of suicide, a fact that shockingly exposes the problem with men and mental health. So, what can be done to normalise men and their mental health?
Normalise talking. Unfortunately, due to gender stereotypes in today’s society, men often feel unable to speak out if they are experiencing mental health problems. This means that opening up to a friend, or even a mental health professional can be near to impossible for males. Less than 35% of NHS talking referrals are for males, meaning many men get left behind to struggle in a sea of mental unrest. This is why it is so important to normalise talking and checking in with your friends who may be struggling. Why not take some time out of your day for just a simple, ‘How have you been?’. It could mean the world to someone struggling in silence. Let them know that you are there to listen without judgement, and try to keep in touch after the conversation.
Normalise kindness. The act of giving to another is scientifically proven to not only make the recipient happier, but yourself too. And as we know, self-care is not just for women. Box Sized Hugs do a great range of male centred letterbox gifts, which are the perfect mental health check in for a friend. Their ‘Man Care’ package retails at just £18.99, meaning you can pop one in the post for a friend. It contains a wide array of gifts specially curated to help somebody who may be struggling, as well as some fun, comforting gifts that are thoughtful. Why not consider sending this to a mate you haven’t seen in a while to let them know you are thinking of them? A kind deed goes a long way, and can bring a smile to someone’s face immediately! Even just receiving something through the post could be an unexpected, yet welcome addition to someone’s day.
Normalise mental health check ins for your mates. Working together to normalise mental health check in with your friends is essential to improving society as a whole.
Remember, someone who is experiencing problems with their mental health may find it difficult to reach out, so try to keep in touch. A text or a quick phone call can make all the difference. Additionally, if you think that they need professional help, reassure them that it is okay to ask for help, and that this is normal. Help and support is out there. Even taking the first step in contacting a GP can feel like a great leap towards happiness. You could even consider going with them to their appointment if they are feeling nervous and would like the support.