This November, we’re starting a new campaign called “Men’s Minds Matter” to engage more men in Surrey with the importance of looking after their mental health and emotional wellbeing. The campaign is effectively a big shout out asking for men (aged 16 and over), and people who know men suffering in silence, to get in touch with us so we can support them. But more importantly, we want to hear from men about what they think is missing in terms of mental health provision, what is not making them take action and what more we could do to inspire men to speak up and look after their mental wellbeing.
This initiative comes from looking at our own statistics showing a huge discrepancy amongst the people we support, between male (or identifying as male) and female (or identifying as female) clients, clearly highlighting that men are still not getting the support they need. Added to that are male suicide rates in the UK reportedly hitting a two-decade high earlier this year. This is a worrying situation which we want to remedy tirelessly. In the past, we have tried launching men’s programmes (such as Men on Bikes to only name one) which haven’t really taken off, so we’re ready to go back to the drawing board and start again.
We believe that saying men don’t want to talk about mental health is just not good enough (and maybe an incorrect assumption!). We think more needs to be done to listen to them, respond to their needs and allow them to connect with their identities, emotions and wellbeing. The best way to achieve this is certainly to ask them directly: “what do you need from us?” so this is what we’re doing!
So what can YOU do to help us on our mission?
- Download our poster and share it on social media, pin it on noticeboards at your local supermarket or library, include it in your company’s or local newsletter…
- If you know a male who could use some support, talk to them about getting in touch with us even if they’re not sure how we can help. We have male members of staff who can talk to them if they prefer.
- If you are male and accessing our services, we would love to hear from you! If you are prepared to share the reasons why getting support has helped you on your wellbeing journey, please consider writing a blog or a poem for us which could help inspire other men to do the same! It can be anonymous.
- We’d also love to hear from you about what we could do better, what is missing from our services, what groups or activities we should offer for men, and what matters to men when opening up about how they are feeling.
- Join our working group to co-design with us men-specific services, groups and activities to support men in Surrey in the way that they want to be supported.
- If you are prepared to talk on the radio about your experience of mental health as a man, we’ll be supporting you to do so, so you can in turn change other men’s lives who might still hesitate about reaching out.
- If you have design or artistic skills and would like to help us design cartoons, drawings and sketches that illustrate why men’s minds matter in a creative way, do get in touch!
We’ll be sharing further information on our website, newsletters and social media so you’ll be hearing about this campaign a lot more!
To share your thoughts, volunteer yourself or ask any questions about Men’s Minds Matter, please contact our Communications Lead, Connie Ridout at email@example.com or call 01372 375400 and leave a voicemail for Connie with your name and details.