November is men’s health awareness month, and Time to Change Wales, a national campaign focused on tackling mental health stigma and discrimination, is running Talking Is A Lifeline — an award-winning campaign to encourage men to talk about their mental health struggles without fear of being judged. The Talking Is A Lifeline campaign emphasises that talking about mental health is one of the bravest things a man can do. 

Research conducted by Time to Change Wales in 2018, found that self-stigma and a lack of understanding of mental health stops many men from talking to family and friends about their mental health problems because of fear and anxiety about negative consequences. Many men have told Time to Change Wales that the pressure to ‘man up’ and ‘be strong’ has led to them suffering in silence.

The campaign includes a series of short videos highlighting the importance of talking to the people around you when you aren’t feeling 100%. The personal stories from Time to Change Wales male Champions who have bravely shared their mental health struggles, are delivered in a variety of online formats such as via blogs, videos and podcasts.

The Talking Is A Lifeline campaign was the runner up in two awards in these categories: 2019 Wales CIPR Integrated Campaign Award and 2019 WalesOnline Digital Awards – Best Use of Digital Marketing.

June Jones, Campaign and Strategy Lead for the campaign said, “We are very proud to have won two prestigious awards for such an important cause. Research shows that men in Wales are less likely to admit to knowing somebody with a mental health problem, and have negative opinions on mental health, so we are hopeful that this campaign can raise awareness of tackling this stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

Only 55% of men who reported feeling depressed said they talked to someone about it, yet 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at any one time. You don’t have to be an expert to help a person experiencing a mental health problem.

Staff and Champions on the Time to Change Wales campaign wholly understand how the current climate posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on people’s mental health. Now is more important than ever to start the conversation around mental health.”

If you’re worried about a male friend or loved one, start a conversation, and ask the question, ‘are you alright?’ and be prepared to listen. It’s really important that men worried about their mental health talk to someone they love and trust, or their GP.

The Time to Change Wales website is packed with information and advice about mental health. Visit timetochangewales.org.uk for more information and click here to watch the Talking Is A Lifeline videos and to download our resources. Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #TalkingIsALifeline and by following us on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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