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The alarming reality of men's mental health

The alarming reality of men's mental health

Despite mental health being the second biggest health concern globally, men's mental health is often never spoken about. In a survey by Priority of 1,000 men in the UK, 40% had never discussed their mental health with anyoneThis is why in June 1994, Men's Mental Health Month started, which focuses on creating awareness of men's mental health and specifically between the 10-16th of June, which is men's mental health week. 

The stigma around men’s mental health 

For men under 50 in the UK, the leading cause of death is suicide and in the US alone, almost 80% of suicide deaths are male. According to Mental Health UK, men make up only 36% of NHS mental health referrals. The underdiagnosis can be a result of men feeling self-conscious and embarrassed to speak about their mental health struggles. This can be due to various factors, including pressures from society. 

Only 1 in 3 black adults seek treatment for their mental health struggles, even though they may have more generational racial trauma and experience more emotional pain and distress than other races. The black community may also have trust issues when it comes to healthcare professionals.

These shocking statistics prove that men's mental health should not be ignored by society. Discover the four main health concerns men struggle with

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Causes of mental health issues in men

Mental health, especially symptoms of stress and anxiety, affects the majority of people. In research of over 12,000 people by DR.VEGAN®, only 4% described themselves as 'stress-free'. And further research of 545 people found that 78% experience stress and anxiety at least once a week.

While many experience stress and anxiety, there are differences in the causes of mental health issues between men and women. Women commonly struggle with their mental health in relation to physical reasons caused by fluctuations in hormones. For example, during  PMS, menopause, pregnancy, endometrosis and PCOS, amongst other health concerns. While men can suffer due to physcial health reasons, mental health issues for men can be linked to factors including their work life and financesOn average, a shocking 191,000 men annually report work-induced stress, depression or anxiety

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Signs and symptoms of mental health issues for men

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Physical symptoms which include a racing heart, digestive issues and headaches
  • Irritability or inappropriate aggressiveness (inappropriate anger)
  • Reckless behaviour 
  • Changes in diet 
  • Feeling restless / on edge, or lack of concentration 

Often men who are going through depression may turn to alcohol or other substances to try and cope with their feelings. This, in turn, can exacerbate their mental health and put them at risk of additional health issues. Read more on the effects of stress and anxiety in our latest stress research.

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How to support men's mental health

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