Men who are struggling with their emotions are being urged to share their feelings to protect their mental health.
Claudia Myler, a clinical psychologist at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, made the plea to mark Men’s Health Week, which runs until Sunday.
Men who are having difficulties coping with their emotions should know they are not alone, and to visit their GP, talk about their feelings and ask about the services that can help them. It’s really important that men in this situation know they are not alone, won’t be judged and will get the help they need if them come forward. Rather than bottling up their emotions, I encourage that men, like anyone going through difficulties, should share their emotions by talking about them
According to the Men’s Health Forum, 12.5 per cent of men have a common mental health disorder, 76 per cent of suicides are by men, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35.
Despite this, figures also show that men account for only 36 per cent of referrals to psychological therapies and that 35 per cent have waited more than two years or never disclosed a mental health problem to a friend of family member.
Dr Myler Said:
Historically, a lot of stigma has been attached to men talking about their feelings,there are long-standing views that men’s strength comes from keeping their feelings to themselves. However, society is beginning to recognise that men’s strength actually comes from talking about their emotions, being open and not keeping the traditional stiff upper lip. It feels like with the new generations and new narratives in society, these old beliefs are starting to change so that we understand the expression of emotions and seeking help as bravery and strength, rather than a weakness.
Although challenges remain, more men are coming forward to seek help and clinicians are recognising that gender is a factor in mental health, she explained.
Dr Myler said organisations such as Andys Man Club, which runs talking groups for men throughout the country, are an important source of help.
Andys Man Club, which has popularised the hashtag #itsokaytotalk, focuses on preventing suicide by encouraging men to share their feelings.
It’s Hull group, whose Facebook address is @Hullandysmanclub, meets in the Airco Business Lounge, in Goulton Street, every Monday at 7pm. The organisation also runs a group in Leeds.
Men in Sheds groups also offer help. They meet at locations including Hull (01482 803700), Withernsea (01964 615190), Bridlington (01262 606639), Malton (01653 690854), Scarborough (01723 864111/07907 595650), and Whitby (07763 656627).
Men can access the Trust’s adult and older people’s mental health services by calling 01482 301701.