42% of men surveyed say Covid -19 restrictions have impacted their mental health
Hopefully you saw this at the top of my homepage as well. I think a lot of us have had a sense of how difficult the pandemic has been for people but a lot of our evidence so far has been anecdotal.
It is good to see then that the Samaritans have done a survey which starts to quantify the effect of the pandemic on us and in this case particularly men.
Encouraging to see a willingness to talk
The survey also found that ‘40% of men said that talking to others helped with concerns and worries they had during the pandemic’. This willingness to talk is perhaps not what has been suggested in other surveys and it is very encouraging to see.
Perhaps it is good evidence that men are starting to overcome their reticence and are more willing to talk.
I wonder whether the fact that during the pandemic, online has become one of the main ways to communicate and as outlined in the previous blog, the indication that men are potentially more likely to seek support if it is online, have played a part in this.
The Samaritans website is excellent and I particularly like their “real people real stories’ campaign as it draws attention to men’s mental health. They have a range of case studies from a variety of different men.
Healing can start to happen
Having read all of them it really brought home to me the way that some men seem to instinctively try to cope by themselves when in crisis. However, if they can overcome this ‘instinct’, then healing can sometimes start to happen.
The feeling of being at a crossroads
All of the stories are moving in their own way but I was particularly struck by the way Jean-Louis described being at a ‘crossroads’ and his subsequent almost ‘out of body’ experience. Martin, in his story, talks about how having counselling gave him tools to ease how he felt. The Walks and Talks initiative he refers to sounds really amazing and clearly helped him a great deal.