For #MensHealthWeek, men are being encouraged to give their physical and mental health an MOT this year.
Action Mental Health is very aware of the health issues that men are facing, including the stigma around how men deal with mental health issues.
Prior to the COVID 19 Pandemic, Men’s Mental Health was already a growing cause for concern, with men generally less likely to seek support for their mental health issues. The lockdowns, increased
unemployment and isolation, and other factors have only increased this concern.
Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel
In Northern Ireland, Action Mental Health operates three Men’s Sheds for men aged 50+. Based in Downpatrick, Enniskillen and Antrim, the sheds bring men together to share their skills, have a laugh and a cup of tea while working on practical activities of their choice. It’s the perfect place for members to be themselves, a place to work at their own pace, a place to exchange ideas and learn, a place for members to support each other and build friendships. For further information please visit here.
Alongside the Sheds, Action Mental Health’s New Horizons services across Northern Ireland cater for men from 18+ supporting them back into education, employment or further training following periods of mental ill health. A number of our services also run groups specifically for younger clients – Lisburn (Speer), Foyle (Boost), Fermanagh (Boost), Antrim (Evolve). Find out more here.
AMH New Life Counselling offers a range of services to support men experiencing mental health issues.
In the past year AMH New Horizons supported 725 males while 83 men were welcomed into the Men’s Sheds. AMH New Life counselling further supported 442 male clients over the age of 18 through one-to-one counselling.
Speak to your GP – if you are worried about your mental health, please speak to your GP as they will be able to assess your needs and advise on suitable supports in your local area.
Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.
Samaritans works to make sure there’s always someone there for anyone who needs someone. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.