Men struggling with emotional impact of recession

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Men are struggling more to cope with the emotional impact of recession as compared to women, a new survey in Britain has revealed.

Leading mental health charity Mind publishes the shocking new report Men and mental health: Get it off your chest presenting evidence that the recession is having an adverse affect on men’s mental health.

Mind’s You Gov survey found almost 40% of men are worried or low at the moment and the top 3 issues playing on their minds are job security, work and money. A small number of men were even experiencing suicidal thoughts – of these, middle-aged men were much more likely than women to have suicidal thoughts. Middle-aged men currently have the highest suicide rate in England and Wales.

Mind’s Get it off your chest campaign aims to get men to recognise the importance of talking about their problems and is calling for a strategy on men’s mental health, to match the existing women’s mental health strategy. Supporters with personal experience include Lord Melvyn Bragg, Alastair Campbell, Stephen Fry, actor Joe McGann and Heart FM DJ Matt Wilkinson.

Mind’s new YouGov survey of over 2000 men and women found that:

* 31% of men would feel embarrassed about seeking help for mental distress

* Just 14% of men (35-44yrs) would see a GP if they felt low compared to 37% of women

* 4% of young men (18-24yrs) would see a counsellor if they felt low compared to 13% of young women

* Only 31% of men would talk to their family about feeling low compared to nearly half of women

* Almost twice as many men as women get angry when they are worried

* 10% of men say they find sex the best way to relax compared to 4% of women

* Almost twice as many men as women drink alcohol to cope with feeling down

* Women are nearly 5 times more likely to get tearful than men

* 45% of men think they can fight off feeling down compared to 36% of women.

Mind’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: “The recession is clearly having a detrimental impact on the nation’s mental health but men in particular are struggling with the emotional impact. Being a breadwinner is something that is still crucial to the male psyche so if a man loses his job he loses a large part of his identity putting his mental wellbeing in jeopardy. The problem is that too many men wrongly believe that admitting mental distress makes them weak and this kind of self stigma can cost lives.”

“At this time, it’s really important that it’s as easy as possible for men to find the help they need. The Government has encouraged Primary Care Trusts to use some ?80m on mental health and the recession this year, and there’s clearly a real need for them to act now to address men’s needs.”

Source: Mind, UK

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