Have you heard the one about the man who asks his best mate for emotional support during a difficult period, and receives consistent, empathic care from his friend? Chances are you haven’t. Women may follow Sheryl Sandberg’s example at Facebook and ‘Lean In’ supporting each other, men don’t traditionally plug into their networks like that.
In fact British men may be spending nearly £1800 on making themselves look good outwardly according to 2012 research , but they aren’t making similar efforts to connect with their inner feelings and improve their emotional well-being.
Luckily there are new options men can adopt to tackle their well-being goals. Those options are being explored by CALM , the mental health charity.
The charity is focusing on suicide prevention this year. Here’s a sobering number CALM comments on , taken from a recent Office for National Statistics bulletin: suicide is the leading cause of death for British men under 50. Such men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women. That rate is comparable to the United States, where men are nearly 4 times more likely to take their own lives than women, according to the World Health Organisation .
Under the Year of the Male banner – that’s @yearofthemale on Twitter, or online at www.yearofthemale.com – the UK organisation is looking to challenge the range of influences which contribute to men’s less positive life experiences. Perhaps we can all recognise that modern life has the potential to lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you are a man and the experiences above ring bells, ask yourself how do your age, class, disability or employment status, ethnicity, family situation, religion, sexual orientation and upbringing affect your well-being? What are you prepared to do change your well-being status this year? Here are three more questions for you to reflect on.
- What can you include in your health and well-being goal to make it more achievable?
- In what ways will your goal help you live life with a greater degree of authenticity?
- How will your goal add value to your dealings with the important people in your life?