Focus on male mental health

Posted on in Health improvement, Services

Stress

There’s a packed programme of events on Teesside this week as Men’s Health Week gets into full swing. The aim of the week-long campaign this year is to tackle stigma in men’s mental health and promote mental well-being and help-seeking in men.

Men’s Health Week runs until Sunday 16 June and has a title of ‘You only live once so talk to someone’. It is led by the national Men’s Health Forum (MHF) which has a long running interest in mental health. The MHF published the first guidelines on addressing the mental health needs of men and boys and their commitment to expanding and improving their services for men.

The reason why the forum has chosen mental health comes on the back of some startling statistics:

  • Despite men and women experiencing mental health problems in roughly equal numbers, men are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated for it and the consequences of this can be fatal – the MHF has long highlighted that 75% of all suicides are by men and that 73% of people who go missing are men.
  • The Health & Social Care Information Centre 2009 household survey found that about 2.7 million men in England currently have a mental health problem like depression, anxiety or stress.
  • Mind research has found that 37% of men are feeling worried or low with the top three concerns being job security, work and money.
  • 33% of men are drinking at a potentially harmful level.

On Teesside, there is a ‘sold-out’ free football tournament held at Goals Soccer Centre in Middlesbrough at the end of what hopes to be a very successful week.

The tournament, on Sunday 16 June, will be played out between 24 Teesside-based workforce teams who are focussed on improving men’s health. As well as the competition there will also be stalls there promoting health initiatives and services specifically designed for men.

Other events being held earlier in the week include a series of 90 minute ‘Toolbox talk’ workshops, aimed at encouraging men to be more active and also an opportunity for teams/workplaces to sign up with workplace health specialists employed by the trust and other agencies.

Those who do sign up will also receive health promotion materials and health improvement sessions from physical health checks to mental health awareness training.

Later this month a second ‘waist removal’ service – a weight management programme designed for men – begins in Redcar on the back of the success and demand from the Middlesbrough sessions.
For more details on ‘waist removal’ or new organisations wanting more information about workplace health promotion or sessions, please contact Richie Andrew at richie.andrew@nhs.net.