Charities across the UK have marked Men's Health Week by taking the opportunity to continue the conversation about men's mental health and the work needed to improve understanding, professional support and to reduce the stigma attached to mental health challenges
Mental Health Foundation has highlighted both the issues facing young fathers as well as the ongoing shortfall in funds for mental health and suicide prevention.
The charity has found young fathers are “significantly more likely to experience depression, compared to older fathers.” Additionally, dads aged 23 and younger are twice as likely to be unemployed at 30, than men who became parents aged older than 23.
More than a third of young fathers are believed to want support for their mental health, and the foundation has also highlighted they are “struggling to cope in isolation” and experiencing “greater parenting stresses than older dads.”
Worryingly, suicide remains the single biggest cause of death for men aged under 45 in the UK.
Mark Rowland, Director of Fundraising and Communications at the Mental Health Foundation, told Happiful he believes progress has been made in getting men to open up about their wellbeing.
He said: “We are making massive progress. If we look at the rate of change in the last 10 years - if we look at press mentions around men and mental health - it’s a symbol of the progress we are making. We are the front of this movement.
“We just have to understand the history, particularly for men. I was reading yesterday that, in 2012, 56 million people died in the world. Of those deaths, suicide (800,000) was a bigger contribution than all wars and armed violence.
“Of that 800,000 globally, about two-thirds are men. It’s weighted much more towards men. And I would say that not nearly enough international, national and local action is being taken to address this issue, compared to other health concerns."
In addition to the Mental Health Foundation's campaign, Tesco has worked with CALM to launch Mark Your Man - a campaign to raise awareness of male suicide.
It also has celebrity backing from CALM ambassador Romesh Ranganathan and comedian Rob Beckett.
For mental health support and to find an accredited professional near to you, visit Counselling Directory
Samaritans operates a 24-7 service to talk to somebody in a safe and confidential environment. Call 116 123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CALM offers a helpline for men who need to talk or get further information or support. Call 0800 58 58 58 to talk to somebody, lines are open from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.