It’s men’s health week and this year the week is largely focusing on numbers – numbers and statistics that they believe all men need to know. These include facts such as men needing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week and that they shouldn’t consume more than 14 units of alcohol every week. You may already know these numbers, but you might not know that 75% of all suicides are by men.
Suicide is often a taboo subject, especially for men. We’re here to break that stigma. If you’re struggling with your mental health, talking about it can be the first big step to getting the right help. We’ve got some tips for what to do when you’re struggling.
1. Open up to someone
Whether it is a friend, family member, GP or someone on an online self-help forum, opening up to someone can often help lift a weight off your shoulders. Letting someone know you’re not feeling quite right also means they can look out for you and check up on you every now and again.
2. Be kind to yourself
Getting the right help for your mental health isn’t as straight forward as a course of antibiotics and will often need time to start getting better. Being kind to yourself while you’re not feeling great is an important step that makes you aware that you’re not alone and that you deserve to get help.
3. Do the things you normally would
Mental health problems can often have an impact on your physical health and make you not want to do the activities you’d normally enjoy. If playing a sport or seeing a friend is something you’d ordinarily do and makes you feel good, try and take part. Getting out and doing things you enjoy is a great way to distract your mind.
4. Don’t be ashamed to seek help
Recognising and asking for help is never easy but it is the right thing to do. Suffering in silence means you won’t get the help you need. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak and isn’t something to be embarrassed of.
If you need urgent help, you can call the Samaritans at any time of the day on 116 123. They’re available around the clock, seven days a week. If you’re experiencing thoughts about self-harm and suicide, visit your local A&E or call 999.