International Men's Day 2023

International Men’s Day 2023

The stigma against men's mental health has gone on too long - if you want to help have the important conversations, read here.

Thomas Oaster began International Men’s Day (IMD) on February 7th 1992, and after some time of not much awareness, it was revived in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago by Jerome Teelucksingh. He chose November 19th for the occasion to honour his father’s birthday, as well as commemorate how on that day in 1989 Trinidad and Tobago’s football team had united the country with their efforts to qualify for the World Cup. Jerome continued promoting International Men’s Day as not just a day for men, but as a day where all issues affecting men and boys could be addressed. He once stated that IMD activists “are striving to gender equality, and patiently attempt to remove the negative images and the stigma associated with men in our society.”

One stigma that has been put into the spotlight in recent years in men’s mental health, and how society’s expectations of “strong” male behaviour have made men feel they cannot speak about their mental well-being, or not even admit they’re struggling at all. In England alone, in 2021 a total of 5,219 suicides were registered, and the male suicide rate was found to be 15.8 per 100,000, compared to a female rate of 5.5 per 100,000 – if you want more details on this data you can go to the Samaritans website, what this shows is that we must work to encourage and support men who feel under pressure to keep their struggles to themselves.

Here are just a few organisations in the UK that have some beneficial services.

Man talking to a counsellor

His Charity

His (Help Information Support) was built to bridge a gap in the mental ill-health service and works with men and boys from key stage 3 to adulthood who are struggling with their mental health. You can have a chat with them over the phone at 0300 1212818, or if you’re not ready just yet then you can send them your number so they have your details for when you are ready. You can also complete an online referral form, and on their website, they have all their information, including an info pack you can download to see the full extent of the help and services they offer.

a man struggling with mental health issues

Andy’s Man Club

This organisation are a men’s suicide prevention charity that offers free peer-to-peer support groups across the United Kingdom and online, their focus being to “end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation”. You can find all the information you need about them on their website, and find where the nearest group meeting is going on, or if you need more accessible online support you can e-mail them at info@andysmanclub.co.uk to find out more.

man sat on a rock in front of the sea

Manup?

This charity’s main goal and wish is, simply, to change mental health for the better. They focus on having men talking to men about mental health and have developed that practice into a fully registered charity, which is slowly chipping away at the stigma facing men and conversations about mental health struggles. You can find out everything about them at their website, and you can also look at the great list of service recommendations they have, whether you need someone to help with anxiety, PTSD, bereavement support, veteran support, or anything else related to mental wellbeing.

man standing on a hill infront of grass and clouds

Movember

Movember is probably one of the most well-known and recognisable charities in the UK that focus on men’s health, particularly in terms of encouraging men to get checked for prostate and testicular cancer and providing support through those processes. They are also very focused on the support of men’s mental health and suicide prevention and offer lots of resources on their site – not only do they provide information on how to get support if you’re struggling, but they also have great advice on how you can talk to someone who is struggling if you’re not sure what to say or do. Their advice follows the acronym ALEC:

Ask

Listen

Encourage Action

Check In

For all the details you can go to their site.

Man getting his beard cut with a moustache

Help at the University of Lincoln

Here are the University of Lincoln, if you find yourself needing support from us then our Student Services is here to help. All the information you need is at the website, and you can find plenty of advice and support with anxiety, body image, looking after your mental wellbeing, coping strategies, and advice regarding self-harm and suicidal thoughts. However, if you find yourself in an urgent situation where you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or serious harm then they have the contact details for ambulances (999), Samaritans, Shout, your nearest NHS Single Point of Access, security services if you’re in university accommodation, as well as a list of local taxi services in the event you wish to go to A&E as a preventative measure.

Addressing mental health struggles is never easy or simple and can honestly be quite terrifying, whether you’re the one struggling or if you’re watching someone you care about struggle. I hope that the men reading this will see just how much support there is out there, and if you feel like you’re in trouble then please do reach out, at the very least to a friend. And if someone reaches out to you then keep ALEC in mind and just be there for them. Together, we can make things better.

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