Men, masculinity and mental health: Changing the discourse
by Jamie Annakin with Kate Warren
In Men’s Health Week (June 9th- 15th) the Men’s Health Forum are spearheading the campaign to improve men’s wellbeing with a focus on work, stress and unemployment including interventions within the workplace. They, along with the charity Mind, were commissioned by the Department of Health funded National Mental Health Development Unit to produce the first ever set of national guidelines addressing the mental health needs of men and boys: “Delivering Male”.
Men’s Health Week is a timely reminder of the complexities involved in not only keeping men well but creating an environment where they feel able to seek support for their health concerns. The topic of men’s mental health can be a difficult one to approach. This is in part due to the stigma still surrounding mental illness, but also because of the influence of masculinity is weaved throughout every realm of men’s existence from childhood through to manhood.
The idea of tackling men’s health in the workplace seems quite rational, after all men are almost twice as likely to work full time, spending a large proportion of their adult life in the workplace domain, and also much less likely to access primary healthcare services. But employment, and of course unemployment, can be part of the problem as well as the solution...."
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