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Man sitting in a therapist's office with his head in his hand.
Credit: cottonbro studio

Experts such as historians, cultural studies scholars and leaders in the charity sector are coming together to discuss and improve understanding of male mental health, at a University of Birmingham event.

Male mental health is one of the most pressing social problems in the UK. Statistics reveal that men are less likely to disclose mental health problems and that men aged between 40-49, have the highest suicide rates in the UK.

High-profile individuals such as Prince Harry, Rafa Nadal and Andrés Iniesta have spoken out about their own mental health struggles, and government and charities have launched campaigns to try and further destigmatise the issue, and public conversations around male mental health have been improving. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to remove the stigma of men talking about their emotional and mental well-being.

All of this will be explored by experts on Tuesday 27th June at the University of Birmingham. Male Mental Health: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, will provide insights into male mental health as a socio-historical, psychological and cultural phenomenon, which will generate a nuanced understanding of the topic.

Dr Lorraine Ryan from the University of Birmingham who organised the event said: “Exploring the historical and cultural reception of male mental health is vital to moving towards fully removing the stigma from the topic. Our experts will cover a range of topics from the depiction of male mental health in contemporary film and literature, to how someone’s ethnicity can impact their mental health and mental illness in Elizabethan England.”

We want this symposium to be a safe place for people to explore how society has responded to male mental health, so we can improve how we deal with it in the future.

Dr Lorraine Ryan, University of Birmingahm

The symposium is open to the public and will feature panel discussions and lecturers from academics from the Universities of Bristol, Lancaster and Birmingham, as well as a keynote speech on male mental health activism from Stuart Bratt, the founder of Birmingham-based male mental health charity, Tough Enough to Care.

Dr Ryan concluded: “While the conversation about male mental health has improved greatly, and more and more men are able to ask for help and talk about their wellbeing, there is still a lot more work to do. We want this symposium to be a safe place for people to explore how society has responded to male mental health, so we can improve how we deal with it in the future.”

Find out more about Male Mental Health: An Interdisciplinary Symposium and register for the event here.