According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Mental Health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. (2014).
The World Health Organisation refer to mental health in the western pacific as the foundation for the well-being and effective functioning of individuals. It is more than the absence of a mental disorder; it is the ability to think, learn, and understand one's emotions and the reactions of others. Mental health is a state of balance, both within and with the environment. Physical, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and other interrelated factors participate in producing this balance. There are inseparable links between mental and physical health. More than 100 million people suffer from mental health disorders in the Western Pacific Region. Depressive disorders alone are responsible for 5.73% of the disease burden there.
(WHO, Mental health in the Western Pacific 2020).
Despite men and women experiencing mental health problems in roughly equal numbers, men are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated for it and the consequences of this can be fatal – The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has long highlighted that 75% of all suicides are by men and that 73% of people who go missing are men. The Health & Social Care Information Centre 2009 household survey found that about 2.7 million men in England currently have a mental health problem like depression, anxiety or stress.
Mind research has found that 37% of men are feeling worried or low with the top three concerns being job security, work and money. One in seven men may develop depression within six months of being made redundant. Men less frequently attend primary care services, including dental services, ophthalmic services and pharmacy, as well as GP surgeries. Men are also in a minority of those who use telephone advice and help lines provided by healthcare charities. Men have measurably lower access to the social support of friends, relatives and community. Men are more likely to suffer from personality disorders (5.4% of men compared to 3.4% of women. menshealthforum.org.uk.
Social prescribing and similar approaches have been practised in the NHS for many years, with schemes dating back to the 1990s. The NHS long-term plan (2019) marked a step change in ambition by incorporating social prescribing into its comprehensive model of personalised care. Composed of six programmes including personalised care planning and personal health budgets, the model aims to enable people, particularly those with more complex needs, to take greater control of their health and care. One in five GP appointments focus on wider social needs, rather than acute medical issues. Social prescribing presents the NHS and local authorities with an opportunity to help people make use of existing community services, resources and facilities in order to meet their personal needs and free up GP time. (National Academy Social Prescribing: 2017).
The Kings Fund: (Buck et al 2017).