Mental health of men and boys: call for evidence

The UK Parliament Women and Equalities Committee’s inquiry into the mental health of men and boys launched in November last year and is inviting written submissions. The Men’s Health Forum, which campaigns strongly for more support for mental health issues in men and boys, is urging those who work in this area to either write to the committee direct or help them with their submission.

The Committee is inviting written submissions to the inquiry by Monday 18 February 2019. The Men’s Health Forum is keen that there is a strong response from as many organisations as possible.

‘We are already working on our response, but we also want to ensure that it reflects the experience and thinking of as many men and practitioners who support men and boys as possible,’ it says.

The committee is focussing on:

  • The most pressing issues affecting men and boy’s mental health
  • The social/economic costs of poor mental health in men and boys
  • The factors that affect men and boy’s mental health
  • The groups of men and boys at particular risk of poor mental health
  • The measures needed to most effectively tackle men and boys’ poor mental health, and the barriers to those being implemented
  • How successful the government and other bodies have been in tackling poor mental health in men and boys

According to the committee, the awareness of the mental health problems affecting men and boys has increased in recent years and it is recognised as a serious problem. It highlights these key facts around the issue:

  • According to the Office for National Statistics, three out of four people who take their own lives are men (75%); this is the biggest cause of death for men under 50 in England and Wales
  • 12.5% of men in England are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders
  • Men are three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent
  • In a survey conducted for the Men’s Health Forum, 12% of men said that the last time they took time off work to see a GP was because they were ‘constantly feeling stressed or under pressure’, and 11% because of ‘prolonged feelings of sadness.’

The committee says that at a time when the government has committed unprecedented funding for mental health, it will be looking at government plans and what more can be done to tackle this vast – but all too often invisible – problem.

Written submissions can be made direct to the committee by clicking here.

Or you can send your thoughts and comments to the Men’s Health Forum to inform its submission (mhinquiry@menshealthforum.org.uk).

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