Recently it’s been Men’s Health Week. Suicide is the biggest killer among men aged under 45. Therefore, there has been a big focus on mental health in men. Research demonstrates men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Mental health remains a major issue for men. Not because they are more susceptible to it than women, but they are less likely to seek help.
This isn’t just professional help; men are more unlikely to discuss their mental health with close family and friends. Without support networks, those with mental health problems are unlikely to recover.
Even if someone does confide in you about their mental health, your response can sometimes be more harmful than good. Here is a quick guide on how you can support someone you know and love with mental health problems to stay healthier.
1. Seek Professional Help With Them
There is only so much you can do. You can’t be expected to be the sole source of care for them, so it is always best to seek professional support for mental health issues. Get them to speak to your GP, local mental health team or a charity to see what support is available. You can support them by attending if they would like you to.
2. Don’t Criticise The Sufferer
Mental health is not something that is self-inflicted. Research has shown numerous factors contribute to mental health including: genetics, environment, an unbalance of brain chemicals and experiences.
Other research has shown physical illness can also be a factor. For instance, those who have survived sepsis are likely to develop mental health issues afterwards.
3. Help Change A Lifestyle
Two factors that can make a considerable difference for someone living with mental health issues are alcohol and relaxing time. There are reliable indicators that alcohol can inhibit a recovery from mental health difficulties. In addition, increasing the time people spend on hobbies or enjoying activities (not watching television necessarily) can improve mental health.
You can also improve diets so it’s healthier. Less take-away food and more salads and pastas are a great way to get started for recovery. Try restricting coffee and tea as well. Caffeine isn’t great for those with mental health difficulties.
4. Listen To Them Without Comment
One of the most important things to do is to listen to your loved one’s feelings. Don’t comment on them or dismiss them. This is the worst thing to do as it will make them think you don’t take their feelings seriously.
This is the hardest task, but it works well. Just listening will allow them to feel valued and more confident in life.
Do You Have A Mental Health Concern?
If you are reading this and have a mental health concern, don’t be ashamed. Seek help as soon as possible. Speak to your GP or contact a professional mental health charity about the support you can get. Don’t hide your feelings, seek help.