At JT Atkinson, we always endeavour to put our customers first and support our local communities, which is why on International Men's Day 2020 we want to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around men's mental health.

Did you know, in England:

  • Around 1 in 8 men has a common mental health problem including depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)¹
  • 3x as many men commit suicide compared to women²
  • The highest rate of suicide is in men aged 40-49 years old³
  • Men report lower levels of life satisfaction than women4
  • Men only account for 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies5
  • Nearly ¾ of adults reported missing are male²
  • Men are 3x as likely to report alcohol dependency and frequent drug use²
  • Men are 1.5x more likely to be victims of violent crime6

Why don't men talk about mental health?

Historically, studies have shown that traditional societal expectations and not being able to recognise mental health symptoms in themselves are the main reason for men being less likely to talk about and seek support for their mental health.

It is important to understand that just as gender stereotypes can be damaging to the mental health of women (for example, the idea that they should look or behave a certain way), the mental health of men can also be negatively affected by gender stereotypes too (for example, the idea that men should be strong, dominant and in control) which can make it feel more them to open up and reach out for help.

Does mental health differ in men?

While there is not a specific type of depression that is different for men, some symptoms are more common in men than in women, and vice versa. These symptoms include irritability, sudden instances of aggression or anger, and increased risk-taking.7

For more information about the symptoms of mental health in men and what support is available, click here.

Worried about mental health?

If you are worried about your own mental health, or the mental health of someone else, here are a list of tips for things you can do to help them:.

  • Take a look at 10 practical ways to look after your mental health (provided by the Mental Health Foundation), including keeping active, eating a healthy diet and talking about your feelings with your friends, family or GP
  • Find our about what services are available, such as mental health charities, talking therapy and support groups
  • Reach out to your loved ones to remind them you are there and that you are there to listen without judgement
  • If someone reaches out to you, reassure them it is okay to ask for help, and offer to support them in finding the help they need if they want you to
  • Make sure you take care of yourself too! Supporting others can be hard, so make sure you don't neglect your own wellbeing too
  • If you are worried that someone might be suicidal, visit the CALM website for advice on warning signs, what to say and what to do next

(Source: Mental Health Foundation, 2020)

Other References:

¹ https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180328130852tf_/http:/content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748/apms-2014-full-rpt.pdf/

² https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health

³ https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/research-and-evaluation/mental-health-statistics/

4 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/measuringnationalwellbeing/october2016toseptember2017

5 https://files.digital.nhs.uk/99/3916C8/ment-heal-act-stat-eng-2019-20-summ-rep%20v1.1.pdf

6 https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health

7 https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/depression-and-men