19 November is International Men’s Day and across Doncaster, local health and care organisations are encouraging men who are struggling with their emotions to share their feelings.
In the UK, men are three times more likely than women to take their own lives, according to emotional support charity Samaritans.
Globally, male suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, says the CALM charity, who insist encouraging people to have open conversations about topics such as men’s mental health and male suicide is essential.
Coinciding with Movember, International Men’s Day aims to promote conversations about men’s mental health, suicide prevention, male cancers and overall wellbeing.
Local GP Dr Melanie Hinchcliffe said: “4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime. If your mental health deteriorates or you are worried about someone else’s mental health, talk to others and be encouraged to seek help.
“There are numerous online resources, charities and apps to help with mental wellbeing and of course seeking advice from your local GP or a local health professional. You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is the first step in the journey to recovery.”
Earlier this year, Doncaster Council launched the ‘Another Way’ campaign to reduce the number of male suicides across the borough.
The campaign aims to inform men that support is out there with people to talk to. The accompanying video which features local men and focuses on a poem written by J B Barrington has been seen over 800,000 times on social media and encourages men to talk openly about how they’re feeling.
Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health Doncaster said: “Suicide is the commonest cause of death in young adults with many more of us experiencing occasional suicidal thoughts. Despite this, suicide is often a topic that many of us feel uncomfortable talking about and we would like to change that. We believe that all suicides are preventable. The Public Health team has worked in partnership with a wide range of health and care services in Doncaster to deliver this campaign into the heart of local communities.”
Alison Lancaster, who manages mental health services in Doncaster for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), said: “For any men, or women, struggling with their mental health help is always on offer.
“In Doncaster we have a Talking Shop at the Flying Scotsman Centre in the town centre, where residents can drop-in if they need help for problems such as depression, panic or phobias or simply to access free information or advice around mental health needs.
“Besides running a range of mental health services, we also have a specialist team who can help in times of crisis. They can be called on 01302 566999.”
If you’re worried about somebody you know or would like to tell somebody how you’re feeling, the Samaritans are available round the clock, every single day of the year.
Whatever you’re going through, you can call the Samaritans for free at any time, from any phone on 116 123 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on local mental health services www.rdash.nhs.uk.