This week is Men’s Health Week which runs from June 15 - 21 and is hosted by Men’s Health Forum. The theme for this week is Take Action on COVID-19 and we are encouraging you to take action through talking, using the hashtag #TalkingIsALifeline. We’re also running our Talking is a Lifeline TV advert on ITV and S4C this week so please look out for that!

Mental health problems can affect one in four people at any time. Men can find talking about mental health particularly hard but talking is a lifeline. It’s time we asked the question for men’s mental health: ‘Are you alright?’

The importance of talking about mental health 

The #TalkingIsALifeline campaign aims to encourage men to talk about their mental health without the fear of being judged. Talking is a Lifeline emphasises that talking about mental health might be one of the bravest things a man can do. Pressures to ‘be strong’, ‘man up’, ‘men don’t cry’ are terms often used negatively to judge men who acknowledge poor mental health.

Who should I talk to about my mental health?

Our latest stigma survey asked, ‘who would you be most comfortable opening up to about your mental health during this period of COVID-19 restrictions?’ A majority of respondents said their family, partner, friend or by private talking therapy whilst only 2.73% of respondents said they would talk to their housemate about their mental health. 

We can see why this poses a problem in the context of lockdown, where many people will be locked down with housemates but feel uncomfortable to talk to them. This is why we’re encouraging you to reach out over the phone, text or even by writing to check in with those you trust the most. 

Worried about a friend or loved one? 

Start a conversation, ask the question, "Are you alright?" and be prepared to listen. Sometimes all it takes is talking. But, just as with physical illness, a phone call to the doctor may be necessary to put things right.

Worried about talking about your mental health?

Our latest stigma survey found that 54% of respondents said that self-stigma has gotten worse since the COVID-19 lockdown. Talking about mental health doesn’t have to be a burden, hear from our Champions who share how they had those conversations about their mental health for the first time. 

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