Today, November 19th, is International Men’s Day with the aim to raise awareness of, and address, many of the issues around men’s mental health. In particular, the aim is to raise awareness of male suicide and its high rates across the world.
#internationalMensDay is the chance to foster positive conversations about men and masculinity. We need to continue to raise awareness of the challenges men face in accessing mental health services. We need to help men understand that they can ask for help and to be comfortable in seeking it. The cultural taboo and stigma for men to face their emotions or ask for help need to be changed.
Take the chance to check in on the significant males in your life, your husband, boyfriend, father, son, brother, and good friends. Ask them if they are really OK and ask how you can help and support them.
Be aware of the typical symptoms of mental ill-health so you can watch out for them. Common signs and symptoms across all genders can include:
- Changes in mood or energy levels
- Changes in appetite or eating patterns
- Compulsive or risk-taking behaviour
- Difficulty concentrating or trouble focusing
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Frequently feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed
- Changes in sleep habits such as sleeping too much or too little
- Losing interest in things that were once enjoyable
- Social isolation
Whilst in men some signs are more common such as:
- Reckless of risk-taking behaviour
- Working excessively
- Increased dependence on drugs and/or alcohol
- Anger and irritability
Let’s normalise talking about mental health and ensure everyone can access the help they need. Let’s make sure everyone understands how to look after their mental health and has access to the tools that can support their mental health self-care.