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3 Tips To Improve Men’s Mental Health In 2023 by King Apparel @KingApparel

Photo credits: rodnae-productions

The UK is facing a mental health crisis, with COVID-19 making the situation worse and lower socio-economic groups more likely to experience depression. Men’s mental health is different than women’s and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 45. Support for men’s mental health can be achieved through:

1. Seeing other men speak out

Prominent figures from various industries are opening up about their mental health, inspiring more normal conversations. Charities and campaigns offer resources to help start these conversations and check in on mental health.

Stormzy challenged stereotypes in rap by speaking openly about his mental health. His 2017 interview was seen as a breakthrough for black men who are underserved by mental health services but overrepresented in psychiatric detentions. His comments were followed by Dave’s seminal album, Psychodrama, which bridges important topics from mental health to identity politics.

2. Keeping an eye on those around you

In a world where men are still wrongly expected to be stoic and emotionless, taking the first step in opening up can be the biggest challenge. Make sure you’re checking in on your friends regularly.

Ask your friends if they’re OK not once, but twice. It’s easy to respond to “are you OK?” with “yeah, fine” – but it’s only when you’re asked again that you might feel comfortable opening up.

Knowing that you have a listening ear is invaluable when talking about mental health for the first time.

Charities and campaigns have been releasing valuable resources to help you do this.

 

3. Speaking to loved ones

Speaking to the people you feel most comfortable confiding in is the first step for many. If it’s not a conversation you feel comfortable having in your circle of friends, consider talking to family members or partners.

Sometimes, all it takes is for one person to open up to understand how many others are feeling the same way. But we know it’s not as easy as just saying the words out of the blue. Use TV, music or some other media to start the conversation if that feels more comfortable.

If you’re not sure where to start, first try to identify the emotions you’re feeling. Is it sadness? Despair? Loneliness? Understanding the specific emotions you’re experiencing can help you to start the conversation. Think about what you want from it too – are you looking for advice, or just a listening ear? Considering these elements will make the conversation feel like less of a hurdle.

 

There are ways to seek help in a more private setting if talking to loved ones or doctors doesn’t feel like a step you can take right now. Most NHS practices in the UK allow people to refer themselves for mental health and psychological therapies online, which removes the step of having to verbally explain your struggles to your GP. This removes the perceived stigma of speaking to a doctor.

Virtual therapies

An online referral is all well and good, but what if the idea of speaking to someone in counselling feels daunting? While talking therapies are proven to dramatically improve the lives of those with mental health conditions, there are alternatives if you don’t feel ready to talk openly yet.

The NHS offers a self-serve mental health tool, known as self-guided help. This online tool allows you to understand why you feel this way and provides guidance and tutorials on how you can improve your mental health.

iCBT is another option that gives you access to a real-life therapist. You can conduct sessions virtually from the comfort of your own home, and your therapist can assign you exercises that will improve your mental health condition. They can then review your progress, and you’ll have access to their guidance through messaging. CBT is proven to help people manage the symptoms of mental health conditions; multiple studies show that over half of people who take this type of talking therapy recover or better manage their conditions. iCBT offers a way to take this effective treatment without the pressures of talking in person.

The state of men’s mental health in the UK is worrying, and without proper attention and support, it’s only going to get worse. There’s still a stigma attached to men experiencing, and seeking help for, mental health conditions, and that must be tackled. Prominent celebrities raising awareness of their own issues is essential to breaking down this barrier, but there are things you can do to help yourself and your friends. Let’s make 2023 the year we finally improve the state of men’s mental health.

David Graham at King Apparel comments:

“In order to properly improve the state of men’s mental health in the UK, we must tackle the problem on two fronts: in the public eye, to spread awareness amongst young men, and in our communities, to encourage our mates to speak up more openly. Encouraging dialogue in black communities is so important, given that black men are much more likely to suffer from mental health issues, and cultural perceptions may increase the stigma around talking to family members. Let’s make 2023 the year we finally improve the state of men’s mental health.”

 

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