One in eight men in the UK admits to suffering from mental health issues. But the sad fact is that while men are aware of their mental struggles, societal taboos and stigma lead to many suffering in silence.

By simply talking with one another, men can improve their mental health.

The LightOn mental health campaign

This week has been Men’s Health Week, so we invited Andrew Coleman, one of the founders of the LightOn mental health campaign, to join us to explore how we can support ourselves, friends, family members and colleagues.

LightOn is a mental wellbeing campaign by the people of Dorset, for Dorset. It gives men permission and an opportunity to talk about mental health.

In his open and honest presentation, Andrew talked about his own experiences with his mental health. He explained that one of the hardest steps we can take is to open up. But when you show vulnerability, it gives others permission to open up.

Human beings are instinctively community-based, and LightOn gives men that community – space ‘beyond the banter’ to share stories, experiences, information and support.

You can connect with the LightOn campaign through their website, on Twitter, Instagram (especially during their ‘Talk More Tuesdays” Insta-chats at 7pm on Tuesdays), LinkedIn and Facebook.

You can watch the recording of Andrew’s presentation here:

Where to find help

This Here For Each Other staff wellbeing website has lots of resources you can use to manage feelings of anxiety and stress, or around things such as sleep problems and bereavement.

But you may feel that you would really benefit from some 1:1 support. Why not refer yourself into our staff wellbeing service? Referrals are straightforward – take a look at the referrals page for more information. Read more about our team and how the service works.

Mental health services

Using the Five Ways to Wellbeing

The Men’s Health Forum (MHF) says that:

“Even before the pandemic, men’s mental health was a cause for concern. There is a grave disparity in the high number of men who die from suicide and the low number of men who seek treatment for depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges.”

The MHF has been promoting the Five Ways to Wellbeing – five things we can all do that are scientifically-proven to help us feel better – through its CAN DO Challenge:

  • Connect – connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven’t since before lockdown) #connectmonday
  • (Be) Active – move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
  • Notice – take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
  • Discover – learn something new (eg. read a book you haven’t read before) #discoverthursday
  • Offer (or give) – do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday

Find out more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing

As well as our content about the Five Ways – Be active, Connect, Give back, Keep learning, Take notice (mindfulness) – colleagues from Live Well Dorset will be joining us in the next few weeks for two specific sessions on the Five Ways to Wellbeing: