This week is Men’s Mental Health week and it’s never been more important to take care of ourselves and check in with mates and relatives. Men’s Health Forum says:
“Every year, one in four of us faces a mental health problem. That means the odds are 3/1 that at least one player on every five-a-side team is wrestling with a mental health problem right now. Or in every bus queue, at every tea-break or in every boy band.”
How are you really?
Here is a short 14 question form to help you understand where you are right now. It can help you keep an eye on how you are feeling and offers some advice on what to do next.
It can be difficult how to know How to Help a Mate
“Every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. We need to talk about it. It’s easier than you might think. You don’t need any special skills, you just need to be willing to do it. Here’s what you can do if you think a friend is feeling crap:
- Ask: how’s its going? Three words that can make a big difference.
- Keep in touch more: text or email if you can’t meet up.
- Doing stuff together is as good as a chat: let your mate see that you know he’s still the same person.
- Talk. Swap stories: don’t ignore the difficult stuff if it comes up – you don’t need to solve it, you just need ears.
- Keep it real: don’t make a big deal of how your mate is feeling but don’t make light of it either.
- Be there: ask if you can do anything.”
This year Men’s Health Forum are using the Can Do Challenge focusing on five ways that can make a big difference to wellbeing:
Feeling close to, and valued by, other people. Some ideas to help feel more connected:
- Talk to someone rather than texting or emailing
- Talk to someone new
- Ask someone something about themselves that you don’t know
- Offer someone a lift or suggest you travel together
- Contact someone you have not spoken to for over a year
- Join a club or group
Taking part in regular physical activity
- Take stairs, not the lift
- Get off the train or bus a stop earlier or park the car further away
- Do stretching exercises
- Do an activity (eg. cycling or swimming) that you have not tried for a while
- Combine being active with connecting: sport, walking, gardening
Being aware of what is taking place in the present.
- Look up at the sky rather than down at the pavement
- Take a different route on a familiar journey
- Go somewhere new for lunch
- Spend time in parks, forests and at the seaside
Continuing to learn throughout life
- Sign up for a class
- Read a book
- Do some puzzles
- Research something you are curious about (eg. your family tree)
- Take up a language or a musical instrument
- Learn some practical skills (eg. how to fix your bike)
Participating in social and community life.
- Volunteer for a charity or community group
- Visit an elderly relative or neighbour
- Do someone a favour
- Smile and say thanks
If you want an easy way to remember the five ways, try CAN DO: C(onnect), A(ctive), N(otice) and D(iscover) and O(ffer).