The recession is affecting men’s mental health, causing four in 10 to be worried or low when thinking about job security, work and money, according to a study published today.
But despite high levels of mental distress, just 14% of men would visit a GP if they felt low compared with 37% of women, the study by mental health charity Mind found.
Middle-aged men were seven times more likely than women to have suicidal thoughts, but one-third said they would feel embarrassed about seeking help, and were only half as likely to talk to friends about their problems.
Mental health strategy
Mind called on the government to produce the first men’s mental health strategy and for more “male-friendly” NHS treatments, such as computerised therapy or exercise.
The charity also urged employers to improve support for stressed male staff and called for the relationship between sexuality, gender and well-being to be a “core part” of training for health and social services professionals.
“The recession is clearly having a detrimental impact on the nation’s mental health,” Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said. “Men in particular are struggling with the emotional impact. The problem is that too many men wrongly believe that admitting mental distress makes them weak and that kind of self-stigma can cost lives.”