19 November 2021
Men – talking about your feelings could save a life
Talking about your emotions is the first step towards male
mental health, says mental health trust.
On International Men's Day (Friday 19th November),
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust (AWP) are
encouraging men and boys to openly discuss their feelings in order
to tackle the mental health difficulties that they face.
Statistics from the Mental Health Foundation show that
men are less likely to access psychological therapies than
women, with only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies
being for men. Men are also
three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
A survey conducted by YouGov for the Mental Health
Foundation found that only a quarter of men (25%) who
disclosed a mental health problem to a friend or loved one did so
within a month. Over a third of men (35%) waited more than 2 years
or have never disclosed a mental health problem to a friend or
Research suggests that men who can't and don't speak openly
about their emotions are less able to recognise symptoms of mental
health problems in themselves, and less likely to reach out for
AWP clinicians often hear that men feel a pressure to not appear
weak or vulnerable, and fear that talking about their emotions
might cause others to perceive them as less of a man.
Phil Cooper, AWP's Associate Director of Governance and the
Trust's Coaching Lead, said: "Whenever I talk to men in particular
- either informally, as friends, or as a Coach - I often ask how
much they feel that they can own their story and embrace their
vulnerabilities. Surely the first step to happiness is to
understand that being human means being imperfect."
As well as encouraging men to open up, the Trust says that we
must all reach out to the men in our lives.
Dr Joe Ryan, Clinical Psychologist and Head of the Wiltshire
Psychological Therapy Service, said: "Talk to the men in your life
about their mental health. Sometimes just a few minutes speaking to
someone can make all the difference. It helps to break the stigma,
and it helps them to maybe step forward and access services, so
they can get the help that they need.
"If you or anyone you know is struggling from mental health
problems, a good place to start is by talking to someone you trust
or visiting the NHS website. Also, you can approach your GP, who
can refer you through to services."
This International Men's Day, be part of the change, and start a
conversation with someone about their mental health and how they
Advice and support for people struggling with their mental
If you are experiencing low mood and anxiety for the first time,
there is lots of help and support you can access online or through
voluntary organisations listed below. If you've tried this and
still feel you need help, you can contact NHS 111, your GP, or you
can self-refer to talking therapies services.
If you're worried about someone else who may be struggling with
their mental health, try and support them to talk to you about
their feelings and encourage them to seek support. Just talking
through their worries may help them think more clearly and help
them to access help. You can also share any of the information
below with them if you think it might help.
The NHS Every Mind Matters has free to access
resources to better your wellbeing. Answer 5 quick questions to
get Your Mind Plan with tips to help you deal with stress and
anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in
If you are an existing AWP patient
or service user and in need of help, contact the team outlined in
your care plan or the Intensive Support Team identified to help
If you are concerned about someone who is in immediate danger,
contact the emergency services on 999.
The below helplines can provide someone to talk to:
Samaritans resources can be accessed here: