The focus on this year’s Men’s Health week (13 - 19 June) is around stress and how stress exclusively impacts men. There is considerable debate about the true level of common mental health disorders in men and whether larger numbers of men than women may be undiagnosed.
In a 2016 survey by Opinion Leader for the Men’s Health Forum, the majority of men said that they would take time off work to get medical help for physical symptoms such as blood in stools or urine, unexpected lumps or chest pain, yet fewer than one in five said they would do the same for anxiety (19%) or feeling low (15%).
On average, 191,000 men a year report stess, depression or anxiety caused or made worse by work – an average of 1.2% of men in work over a 12 months period. This compares to an average of 261,000 women over the same period – 1.8% of those in work. (Source: HSE/Labour Force Survey). The peak age group for these conditions is 45-54 - significantly higher than all other age groups.
Summary of Stress and Mental Health Challenges faced by Men
- Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (Reference: ONS)
- 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women - Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.
For full article, information and details on how you can get involved with the issues surrounding men’s health, please access the link Mens Health Forum.