Throughout the month of November we are supporting the #TalkingIsALifeline campaign by Time to Change Wales which aims to reduce the stigma around men’s mental health. We are supporting it as part of our Vitallis initiative.
Mental health problems can affect one in four people at any time. Men can find talking about mental health particularly hard, but talking is a lifeline.
Only 55% of men who reported feeling very depressed said they talked to someone about it (CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016).
The #TalkingIsALifeline campaign aims to encourage men to talk about their mental health without the fear of being judged. Talking is a Lifeline emphasises that talking about mental health might be one of the bravest things a man can do.
Research conducted by Time to Change Wales found that self-stigma and a lack of understanding of mental health stops many men from talking to family and friends about their mental health problems because of fear and anxiety about negative consequences.
Many men have told Time to Change Wales that the pressure to ‘man up’ and ‘be strong’ has led to them suffering in silence.
Toxic masculinity is a major problem that makes it difficult for men to open up to a mental health problem: ‘be strong’, ‘man up’, ‘men don’t cry’ are terms often used negatively to judge men who acknowledge poor mental health.
Worried about a friend or loved one?
Start a conversation, ask the question, “are you alright?” and be prepared to listen. Sometimes all it takes is talking. But, just as with physical illness, a visit to the doctor may be necessary to put things right.