Millions of British men would not talk to anyone at all if they suffered from mental health issues.
New research by 24/7 Pest Control for Men’s Health Week has found that 14% of men in the UK would not talk to anybody about their mental health problems.
That equates to more than 3.6 million men who would avoid discussing a mental health issue, despite public health campaigns such as ITV’s Britain Get Talking, or Prince William’s Mentally Healthy Football Declaration, urging men to open up about illnesses such as depression.
When asked by YouGov whom they would speak with about their mental health, 47% of men revealed that they would confide in their significant other, while fewer than a third of men (31%) feel they would be able to speak to their close friends.
|Who do men talk to about their mental health?|
My close friends
|An anonymous helpline||7%|
|None of the above||3%|
|I would not talk to anybody||14%|
Concerning discussing their mental health with a medically trained professional, 30% of men say that they would reach out to their GP for help and advice, while 15% would talk to a therapist.
Only 7% of men say that they would discuss their mental health with an anonymous helpline, while 8% don’t know who they would talk to.
In the workplace, mental health issues are still seen as a ‘taboo’ subject, with only 6% of men saying they would discuss their mental health with their boss, and 4% confirming that they would speak with other colleagues.
The study also reveals that more than half of the UK’s population feel that men’s mental health is not considered a serious topic of discussion.
The research – drawn from more than 5,000 adults surveyed – shows that 57% of Brits feel that the issue of men’s mental health is still not being taken seriously by modern society.
|How seriously, if at all, do you think society takes the issue of men’s mental health?|
|Not very seriously||43%||44%||41%||46%||40%||40%||48%|
|Not seriously at all||14%||18%||11%||23%||15%||14%||10%|
Across genders, 62% of men feel that their mental health is not taken seriously, with 52% of women in agreement with this viewpoint.
Age grouping (across both men and women) creates an interesting divide across the population, with 69% of 18–24 year olds feeling that society doesn’t take men’s mental health seriously, followed by 58% of Brits aged 65+.
In a survey assessing the general mood of the country, it was found that a third of men are feeling stressed and/or frustrated at present. This figure pales in comparison to the stress felt among women, however, which reaches 43%.
The age groups feeling the most stress are 18–24-year-olds and 25–49-year-olds, with both categories reaching 49% and 48% respectively. The youngest age group in the survey have the ‘itchiest feet’, with 45% claiming that they are bored.
Commenting on the findings of the study, a spokesperson for 24/7 Pest Control said: ‘It is important – not just for men – to remember that one’s mental well-being is just as important as one’s physical health. If someone broke their leg, they wouldn’t hesitate to take a trip to the hospital, and no one should hesitate to reach out for help in keeping a healthy mind.’