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Coronavirus: More than a fifth of men say mental health has worsened during lockdown

Coronavirus: More than a fifth of men say mental health has worsened during lockdown

Published by Lisa Darvill at 6:36am 19th May 2020.

Research released to mark Mental Health Awareness Week highlights the impact lockdown is having on men. 

  • Charity Movember has released the research 
  • It claims more than a fifth of men say their mental health has worsened during lockdown 
  • Nearly half of men asked said no one had checked to find out how they were coping 
  • Stray FM has spoken to Craven men's mental health support group 'Talk and Thrive' 
  • The group is offering support online during the pandemic 

Figures released to mark Mental Health Awareness Week by global men’s health charity Movember reveal that almost a quarter of men surveyed had not checked in with friends or family to find out how they were doing during the crisis.

More than a fifth reported their mental health had worsened compared with before the outbreak of COVID-19 and a third admitted they felt lonely more often.

Nearly half said no one has checked to find out how they are coping. 

Dr Zac Seidler, Director of Mental Health Training, at Movember said:

"These findings indicate that guys are hungry for connection and in need of support in these trying times.

"While we know these conversations can often feel uncomfortable or awkward, checking in on your mates and loved ones can make the world of difference.

"Don’t assume they don’t want to be bothered or don’t want to talk. Just making the call can go a long way."

John Bailey and Jimmy Vaughn run a mental health support group in Craven called 'Talk and Thrive'. 

The group came off the back of a Facebook page, EMPS - EMPowering Survivors, where they share their own stories in the hope it encourages others to talk.

During the pandemic, John and Jimmy have been posting daily videos to help others and offer support. 

John said: 

"It's not just men who are struggling it's everybody who's struggling at the moment so I don't think it's a situation where it's impacting men, it's impacting men and women. 

"I don't think one of the questions you ask people is how are you coping with lockdown? It's how are you? Do you need anything getting? That sort of thing. We might be skirting around it if I'm being honest." 

John Bailey, one of the organisers of Skipton's 'Talk and Thrive' group
John Bailey

 

Both John and Jimmy set up the group after suffering problems with their own mental health. John says the lockdown is difficult to cope with and he's been sharing his own struggles during the crisis. 

He added: 

"I think if you're running a mental health group you need to be as honest and as open as you can. 

"So I've been open about how its impacting me in certain ways. You go from being able to see people to not having a face to face conversation in seven to eight weeks and that can make a huge difference." 

Jimmy says whilst they're reaching many people online, it's not the same as meeting face to face. 

He said:

"It's not the same as face to face. When we're sat in a room all together you've got that comradery. When it's online you haven't quite go that so I know some of the regular lads are missing it. 

"Luckily we're always available on the end of the phone but its not the same as face to face."

John and Jimmy are urging anyone who's struggling to visit their Facebook page for more advice and support. 

Below is a list of support services if you're worried about yourself or a loved one: 

The Samaritans - 116 123 

www.samaritans.org

Mind - 0300 123 3393 

www.mind.org.uk

CALM - 0800 58 58 58  

www.thecalmzone.net 

Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide) - 0800 068 41 41  

www.papyrus-uk.org