More than a third of men in Scotland aged 20-59 do not seek support for mental health problems.
Date: Saturday 25 May 2019
The stigma that still haunts men struggling with mental health in Scotland, and why they find it difficult to open up, to talk or acknowledge when they are in difficulty.
More than a third of men in Scotland aged 20-59 do not seek support for their mental health problems.
These findings were from a survey by Samaritans Scotland, released on the 19 March 2019, which showed that as men we often don't want to feel like a burden and don't feel our problems will be understood.
On the back of this, they have decided to launch a campaign, supported by National Rail, called Real People, Real Stories to help men who are most at risk of suicide to seek help.
James Jopling, the executive director, said: "It's clear that too many men in Scotland continue to struggle alone.''
"While our survey found 80% of men in Scotland say it's ok to admit you're not feeling okay, many still avoid speaking out when they're finding life tough. A quarter of men in Scotland said they felt their problems weren't important enough to warrant calling a helpline, which is one of the reasons this awareness campaign is so important.''
Which is why when we launched Brothers in Arms on 17th June 2017, it was because the time had come to recognise that men in Scotland needed a safe space that responded to their own needs around mental health and more importantly gave them support via digital technology that could be used in private and in confidence, when they were not yet ready to talk or use a helpline for fear of being judged.
The hope is that by sharing these positive and hopeful stories, that it will send the message to men in Scotland, that whatever they're going through, they don't need to face it on their own. Speaking openly and honestly about what you're experiencing - whether it's with a loved one, a friend or through a confidential and non-judgemental service like Samaritans - can make a real difference."
In the survey, men in Scotland cited a number of reasons why they've struggled in the past including debt or financial worries (28%), relationship breakdown or family problems (28%), loneliness or isolation (23%) and job loss or job-related problems (22%).
Current Kilmarnock and former Scotland striker, Kris Boyd, who lost his brother to suicide, is backing the campaign. He said: "There is still a lot of stigma that can make it hard for men to open up about mental health. My experience losing my brother to suicide has made me more determined to do what I can to encourage others to reach out when they're struggling.''
"And we can all be a part of making that change, by taking the time to talk when we're struggling or when we know someone who is, by being that listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. I hope that by sharing my story I can let other men know, you don't have to struggle alone."
The campaign will have a presence in some of Scotland's major train stations, with additional posters in Glasgow and Dundee