Men's Mental Wellbeing

Men's Mental Wellbeing

View profile for Sarah Wyatt
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MMA fighter Paddy Pimblett hit the headlines over the weekend, talking after his victory at UFC London about losing a friend to suicide the day before his fight.

" There's a stigma in this world that men can't talk. Listen, if you're a man and you've got weight on your shoulders, and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone. Speak to anyone... I know I'd rather my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let's get rid of this stigma, and men, start talking."

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40 in the UK, and Paddy believes a lot of this is down to the reluctance of men to talk about the challenges they’re facing or to seek help. Society’s expectations and traditional gender roles can mean men feel pressure to conform to often outdated stereotypes of being strong, dominant, in control, and not emotionally driven.

Some symptoms of depression can be more common in men than women, these include;

  • Irritability, sudden anger, loss of control
  • Risk-taking (eg reckless driving)
  • Escapism – working late, spending more time at the gym/on video games
  • And men may be more likely to use alcohol or drugs to cope with their depression.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or have concerns over a friend, colleague or relative,

  • Let them know you’re there to listen to them, without judgement
  • Try to keep in regular touch with them, even if this is just a phone call or message
  • Help them get help - find out about local services such as talking therapy or support groups, for example, Talk Club
  • Take care of yourself; looking after someone else can be challenging, so make sure you consider your wellbeing too
  • And finally, know you can speak to a member of the Wellbeing team

"You're not weak, you're stronger than anyone…….people think bottling stuff up makes it better, I've been there... I eventually spoke to someone, and as soon as you speak to someone it's like a weight's off your shoulders." (Paddy Pimblett)