A shocking new report Men and Mental Health 'Get it off your chest' published this week by Mind, a leading Mental health charity, produces shocking statistics that the recession is having an adverse affect on men's mental health.

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 recommendations include:

  • The Government must produce the first men's mental health strategy
  • The criteria for diagnosing mental health problems should be expanded to include male acting out behaviour (taking drugs, drinking, getting aggressive) as well as traditional signs of depression (sleepless nights, crying, feeling low).
  • Men should be offered 'male-friendly' treatments like computerised therapy or exercise
  • Health services should be advertised in places men frequent, such as gyms, pubs or the workplace
  • GP surgeries should be gender neutral, men are often put off by what they consider an overly feminine environment
  • Employers must do more to support their stressed male employees
  • The needs of black and minority ethnic men must be made a priority for Strategic Health Authorities when the Delivering Race Equality strategy ends
  • The relationship between sexuality, gender and mental wellbeing should be a core part of the training given to health and social services professionals.

Mind (2009) Men and Mental Health : Get it Off Your Chest