DATA in Coventry and Warwickshire shows men are at higher risk of suicide.
Care partners in the region revealed the information during Men’s Health Week to encourage conversations around male mental health.
The figures also show that over 70 per cent of suicide cases were not in contact with support services.
To encourage more people to talk about their feelings, health and care organisations have funded the development of real-life stories of men’s experiences to provide hope and support.
Local male survivors of suicide were interviewed, sharing their experiences of mental health support and advice, and hobbies they started to help manage their emotional wellbeing. From this, five videos were created to send messages about self-kindness, overcoming obstacles and finding the right support.
The videos aim to reflect a variation of individual mental health struggles, from coping with schizophrenia, to addressing alcoholism.
Alex Cotton, mental health nurse and founder of ‘It Takes Balls to Talk’, said: “Men’s mental health week is an opportunity to ‘check in’ with our mates, family, friends and colleagues. It’s a conversation starter, sending a message to the ones we may not have heard from or seen because of the pandemic. Sending a quick ‘how are you? You alright?’ demonstrates you care.
‘When people feel low it is tricky to reach out for support. Let’s seize the day and send a message today.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Margaret Bell, spokeswoman for adult social care and health, added: “Seeking support for mental health concerns has been a big challenge for men in Warwickshire and Coventry even before the pandemic. Therefore, we are honoured to have produced these videos on behalf of local men who have found help, in the hopes that these real-life stories will lead to more men seeking support when they need it.
“Sharing stories about our wellbeing can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. Whatever you may be struggling with, there is help for you.”
Visit dearlife.org.uk for support and advice.
To watch the videos, go to Warwickshire County Council’s YouTube channel.