New mental health taskforce must tackle men's mental health

24/11/14 . News

The Deputy Prime Minister has announced that he will establish and chair a new Mental Health Taskforce. How will this address men's poor mental health?

The taskforce is due to urgently examine:

  • how we can improve mental health services for young people
  • welfare and employment issues and helping people back into work
  • how we can improve crisis care and prevent the large numbers of people with severe mental health problems ending up in police cells and prisons

The Men's Health Forum wants to see the government's new cross-department mental health taskforce take steps to tackle the poor state of men's mental health.

Martin Tod, chief executive of the Men's Health Forum said:

It's great that mental health services are getting more priority.

There is a strong men's health thread running through the new taskforce's themes and, to succeed, they will need to ensure that their work addresses this.

We know men are 80% of people who kill themselves - often they're young men.  Unemployment also hits men's mental health particularly hard. Unemployed men are more worried about their mental health and relationships and are nearly twice as likely to have mental health problems due to being unemployed than women.

Finally, men with mental health issues are much more likely to end up in the criminal justice system. It's particularly important that the taskforce delivers on their work in this area.

Mental health is central to the Men's Health Forum's work. Our Men's Health Manifesto published earlier this month says services can't wait for men to engage on mental health. The manifesto calls for action to stop using drug or alcohol problems as a barrier to mental health treatment and to invest in integrated care for dual diagnosis.

Sick of Being Unemployed, published with The Work Foundation in June, highlights the effects of unemployment on men's health, especially their mental health.

More information:

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. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.

Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.

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