How to check in with the guys in your life…
Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death among men aged 20-34? It’s a horribly scary statistic and a stark reminder of why supporting men with their mental health is so crucial. Some guys find it difficult to talk about their struggles, making it tricky to get them to open up. Here’s how you can support the men in your life to make sure they’re OK – and to let them know that they’re not alone.
1. Checking In
Drop them a text asking, “Hey, how are you feeling?” or ask them face-to-face if they’re doing OK. They might brush it off and say they’re fine when they’re not, so don’t be scared to ask the question again. Check in with them regularly to let them know that you’re there for them and ready to listen. You can say something like, “I’m here for you if you want to talk” to make sure they know that you’re in their corner.
2. Talk It Out
Encourage them to talk. You could start with an observational question like, “I’ve noticed you seem a bit down lately, How are things, or is everything OK?”. As the conversation progresses, try to ask open questions, such as, “How does that make you feel?” and “What are you finding most difficult?”. Movember Conversations have a brilliant tool to help you start a conversation with a man who is struggling with a range of issues. Click here to try it out.
3. Listen & Share
Give them your full attention and listen to them carefully. Use encouraging body language such as nodding and eye contact to help them find the strength to say what’s on their mind. If you’ve had similar struggles in the past, it might help to mention it and talk about how you coped with it. Whilst your situation may differ from theirs, it helps for people to know they are not alone, everyone struggles sometimes.
4. Look For Changes
Keep an eye out for any changes to their behaviour. Do they seem more withdrawn than usual? Have they stopped answering your texts? Have they let their personal hygiene slide? Maybe they’re using drugs or drinking more alcohol. They may seem more anxious, angry or weepy. These are all symptoms of mental illness and a clear sign that everything is not OK. For more advice and support with depression, click here.
5. Find Professional Support
Help them find further support. You can share helpline numbers, point them in the direction of therapy or encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor. Sometimes, when a person is really struggling, they find it difficult to seek help. Your support with this can be so valuable.
For more help and advice on how to support men’s mental health, head over to Movember. https://uk.movember.com/