Our work is with men, who might not initially seem like a disadvantaged group in society. However, 76% of suicides are completed by men; 87% of rough sleepers are men and 34% of employed men feel constantly stressed and under pressure. Loneliness is often associated with old age but a recent report by CALM, The Campaign Against Living Miserably, suggests that loneliness becomes a big issue for men from the age of 35. This, in turn, can lead to issues such as depression, which contributes to the fact that everyday 13 men in the UK take their own lives. Underlying guilt, shame and other 'toxic' emotions get buried.
Men tend to be affected by the indirect consequences of enforced under- employment and significant life events like relationship changes, fatherhood and transitional periods leading to substantial negative effects that impact on their wellbeing. This often leads to poor physical and mental health and poor recovery from illness. Men are more likely to ‘act out’ e.g. excessive laddish banter, misuse drugs, drink too much, abuse, aggravate. This means that their problems can be overlooked or misdiagnosed. For example low level depression, Many men do minimal physical activity and have a poor diet. Men have more severe chronic conditions, higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death, and die on average 7 years younger than women, are twice as likely to be referred to mental health services, are 4 times more likely than women to commit suicide, and typically men do not access mainstream health, community information & advice services for support.
Often many men do not have as positive, as lasting and as meaningful social connections needed when things get tough. They hide, withdraw, close down.
Getting help is not weakness. Courage is going deeper. No pressure, no diamonds.
These are the issues faced by men and which increased social interaction and friendship can change.