We all have a level of mental health throughout our lives, in the same way as we have a level of physical health. And like our physical health and wellbeing, our mental health can be better and worse at different points. You could be said to be mentally unwell if you are suffering from consistent anxiety. This does not necessarily mean that you have a ‘condition’, merely that you’re not on top form. In this way, mental health must be seen as a spectrum, from well (mental health) to chronically unwell (mental illness). It is estimated that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. 2.6% of the population experience depression and 4.7% have anxiety problems, but as many as 9.7% suffer both depression and anxiety, which makes this the most prevalent mental health problem in the population as a whole.
Too often men are loathe to seek help, for many reasons including perceptions of masculinity, not wanting to appear or feel ‘weak’, common stigma about mental health, or a lack of understanding of mental health overall. However, mental ill health is something we all experience at some point in our lives, and recognising that you may need help or support does not diminish you; in fact, this can be the first step to assertively (even manfully!) take control of your life and health.
There are too many types of mental health problems to outline here, but some of the most common are chronic depression or anxiety. Symptoms will be familiar to many people: depression may include feeling low, sleep problems, or a loss of appetite, concentration and energy. People with chronic anxiety (often termed generalised anxiety disorder) feel anxious most days, often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed, and can feel restless, worried, or have trouble concentrating or sleeping.
If you are feeling unwell, or concerned about your mental health, please use the information sources below, and consider seeing your doctor or a mental health specialist for the right support. Above all, talk about how you are feeling with people you trust and seek support; too often the stigma and misunderstanding which still surrounds mental health and illness means that people do not seek support from friends or family.
For further information and sources of support visit:
The Blue Ribbon Foundation acts as a signposting service to specialist websites containing more detailed information on specific illnesses and conditions. We endeavour to ensure all information presented here is up-to-date and gathered from multiple respected sources. However, the data presented on this website is for general information purposes only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability of this information in respect to specific concerns or questions you may have about your own health. If you are concerned about your own health, it is imperative you seek professional medical advice at the earliest opportunity.