“I’ve dealt with it, I get it and it’s much better. I’d heard of anxiety but I thought, it can’t make you feel that bad.”
Of course, Mental Health affects both men and women. However, the challenges surrounding Mental Health are different between the sexes. For example, the prevalence of Mental Health in men is actually much lower than in women, but the consequences of Mental Health in men are different. Men with Mental Health illnesses are less likely to come forward for treatment and are considerably more likely to die by suicide than women (3 to 1).
Thoughts or behaviours that interfere with work, family, or social life are not typical. Very rarely is a crisis not noticed by loved ones. Men must not feel helpless because help is there. We can stabilise Mental Health, and the earlier treatment begins, the better for all. Treatment, including cognitive and medical therapies, can help, but we need to know a man needs help.
In Scotland, men do not need to be anxious about coming forward with Mental Health issues. Yet they are, and while men feel this way, we need to do more. It is evident we haven’t got this quite right yet. You may be thinking this mirrors only a few years previous where men would not talk about Prostate problems, for example, and come forward too late, and you would be right. Attitudes have changed towards Male Health. We have been part of this change, and are proud of that, so let’s make another change for Mental Health.
We need to ask, to move forward, why do men find it difficult to open up about their Mental Health? The burden of masculinity. Precisely the same as with Prostate disease in the past. So our goal is to get to a Scotland in which men feel comfortable coming forward with any health concern. Early intervention saves lives and money; it costs less to initiate early treatment – every time.
Mental Health is one of the biggest challenges facing public health in Scotland.
Small changes can have a resonating impact on Metal Health, building the wall of good Mental Health back up.