As a male working in the holistic world of therapy, transformation coaching and healing, the mental health of men is something that is close to my heart.
In this blog, I’ll touch on the raw facts of male mental health. I’ll explain what can be done to encourage men to speak up or seek support, and how we can help here at Haelan Therapy. If you think this blog might be useful to someone in your life, please feel free to forward it on to them.
The frightening facts
Looking at the stats, you might be surprised at how big the problem is. The research I undertook in preparing for this blog shocked me. 75% of those that take their own life, are men. In fact, suicide is the most common cause of death in men between 20-49 years of age (source: MentalHealth.org). It’s terribly sad, especially considering that many of these deaths could have possibly been prevented if help had been on-hand. These stats only get worse over time.
But it can be hard for us to talk. Many of us guys can have the misconception that seeking support, or even just speaking up about how we feel and what we need, makes us weak in some way. And let’s face it, sometimes even our closest friends can be tough to turn to, even when we need them most.
It has been suggested by psychologists that men may fail to recognise or take action when we experience the warning signs, and may be unable or unwilling to seek help with mental health. Then there’s the other factor – that we may rely on unwise, unsustainable self-management strategies that are damaging not only to ourselves, but also to those around us.
It all paints a pretty bleak picture for the future of make mental health. But I feel that things are starting to change for the better. The fight against the social stigma around taking care of our mind, is well under way and male suicide rates are the lowest they’ve been in 30 years (source: The Samaritans). But there is more to be done. Us guys can sometimes feel that seeking support with mental health is some kind of weakness, as though we have failed in our purpose as man. If this is a story that plays out for you in your mind at any time, I can assure you that it is not true. We are talking about health care here, not sick care. How bad does it have to get before we reach out for that chat or professional support? Speaking up and seeking support can be proactive or reactive. But there is absolutely no shame in taking care of our minds.
Here are some things that you can do to explore your thoughts, feelings and emotions:
Journaling is powerful. My favourite way to journal is to have a dedicated notepad for journaling, that you write in every day for a few minutes. Write down what you are grateful for, write down what is worrying you or playing on your mind. If you want to invest in a journal that is specifically designed for men (and it looks great too), grab a MindJournal from the inspirational Ollie Aplin. He created this mind journal from his own experience with managing his own mental health. https://www.mindjournals.com/
Meditation is a great way to reset and put things into perspective. It’s how we recalibrate ourselves to our natural state. And anything can be a meditation – looking at something in nature, sitting and feeling your breath, or even brushing your teeth. If that’s all you’re doing, you’re meditating. If you want to take things to the next level, book a one-to-one meditation with me and I’ll create a meditation programme specially designed around your lifestyle and needs.
Confide in someone that you trust, that won’t judge what you say or how you feel. For the vast majority of us males, this can be a tough person to find.
The best way to explore and take of your mental health is through transformation coaching. This is a relationship with a professional coach that will listen, ask the right questions and help you to understand yourself better and enable you to take action.
The best transformation coaches will give you the opportunity to spend time together in a consultation before jumping into coaching sessions. This is so important, because it enables both you and the coach to establish how the relationship will work and what you might want to explore. Perhaps more importantly, it gives you the opportunity to state what you don’t want to look at or talk about in coaching – this puts your emotional safety at the forefront, which means you’ll get the most out of transformation coaching.
Whatever you choose to do, I only ask that you take some form of action, be kind to yourself every day and don’t judge yourself if you’re not feeling ok. It’s ok to not be ok. But we mustn’t suffer – none of us deserve that, and we can change our lives for the better much quicker than you may think, if we just choose to talk.
If you would like to talk, book in for a free consultation with me. Click HERE to book in or drop me an email HERE. If you would prefer to work with a female coach, you can book also in with Rebecca or Jo.
If you think this blog might be useful to someone in your life, please feel free to forward it on to them. If you are feeling emotionally unsafe at any time, do not ignore your feelings - speak to the Samaritans.