Mind Your Language: How Men Talk About Mental Health

‘I’m not depressed, I’m feeling down’. Why words matter in male mental health.
  • ‘Stressed’ but won't ask for ‘help’?
  • Often ‘pissed off’ but never ‘sad’?
  • Talks about ‘anger’ but not about ‘feelings’?

Male mental health is in crisis. Men make up just a third of referrals to NHS talking therapy services yet account for three-quarters of suicides. Something doesn’t add up.

How can services be made more relevant to men? Is part of the problem the language they use? How do men really talk about mental health?

The Men's Health Forum's report Mind Your Language: How Men Talk About Mental Health draws on existing data and new research to begin to answer these key questions and take the first step towards identifying good practice.

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.