In the UK, May is the month which awareness for mental health takes place. Awareness for mental health is important because it fights the stigma which society has placed on mental health as well as educates the public on it.

The Mental Health Foundation is a charity in the UK whose aim is to “help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health”. Often workers from this charity set up programmes in schools, businesses, community groups and sometimes people’s homes to enlighten them on the issues concerning mental health in addition they raise money for the foundation.

The Mental Health Foundation is focusing on mental health in men for this month, November. The aim for their campaign is to bring light to the fact that majority of the men in the UK tend not to talk about their feelings, often internalising how they feel. A study shows that “76% of men act like they are fine and hold back on talking to anybody about problems they face and only 24% of men do talk about any problems which they face”. The fact that some men do talk about their feelings is a good thing however the larger percentage of them don’t and this is quite alarming. This percentage of men tend to develop unhealthy behaviours as coping strategies, this could either be alcohol or drug abuse. They could also have poor diets as a result of their high level of stress and anxiety.

These harmful habits may form as a result of the stereotypical view of men, typically they are seen as strong and able to handle any situation. However, not all men are able to live up to such expectations and as a consequence suffer internally.

Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is a well-known actor and former professional wrestler who has spoken about the issues he faced having to keep up with society’s image of him being strong, powerful, muscular and tough. Johnson has suffered from decades of depression after his mother’s suicide attempt and is outspoken about his own mental health experiences. Johnson believes that it is important to talk about these issues where, he says that it “took me a long time to realise it but the key is to not be afraid to open up”. Dwayne Johnson is an inspiring example to encourage men within society to talk about their feelings. As I think that it is important to motivate and encourage men to relieve this stress and anxiety they are facing but to also support them so that they do not face this discomfort alone. 

Please help both men and women as nobody should be suffering in silence and to know that they can talk to people about it by sharing mental health screening sites on social media.