Men have a reputation of not looking after themselves. Men grow up in a culture that doesn’t encourage them to express themselves or to even have feelings. Men often expect themselves to be strong, to provide, to protect and do not admit it when they struggle. It might be a man’s world but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one for a man to live in.
The World Health Organisation publishes a report in 2014 with some rather worrying but perhaps not surprising conclusions. Worldwide health outcomes for men and boys continue to be substantially worse than for women and girls. On the whole by 2010 women were outliving men by an average of almost 6 years. Partially this might be down to exposure to hazardous situations through their occupations but greater risk taking behaviours are also a factor (more men die of alcohol related illness than women across the world for example).
In 2008/9 significantly more women than men accessed GP services than men with the greatest disparity being in the 20-44 age gap.
The Samaritans produced a report into suicide in 2017 which suggested that in 2015 in the UK 6,188 people sadly took their own lives and of these 75% were male. The Samaritans also suggest the figures may well be higher as official reports of suicide are often inaccurate for a variety of reasons (family request, insurance, inconclusive evidence etc.)
What does this mean for me?
Thinking about how men view their health and their mental health might reassure you that you are not alone in having a problem. At East London Mental Health we passionately believe that men’s health outcomes need to improve and the suicide rate must come down.