Men’s mental mealth focus of new campaign

A new online campaign has been launched to hear the voices of men in the Scottish Borders.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 11:31 am

The Scottish Borders Joint Health Improvement Team at NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council are working with the Scottish mental health and wellbeing charity, Health in Mind,on the campaign, called ‘Hearing the Voices of Men in the Scottish Borders: Developing Connected Communities’.

It includes an online survey and aims to capture personal stories from men across the Scottish Borders about their experiences around mental health.

Through this campaign we want to understand men’s current experiences of mental health within the Scottish Borders.

The responses to the survey will help to shape and improve the support available to men – working to ensure they can access the right support and its delivered in a way that works for them.

Men are three times more likely to take their own life than women. In 2018 there were 784 probable suicides in Scotland, with the highest rate of suicide occurring in men aged 35-44. It’s also reported that 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders.

Rachael Honeyman, Scottish Borders Services Manager at Health in Mind said: ‘Mental health is commonly misunderstood. It’s not about having a diagnosed mental health condition.

“We all have mental health and it can change depending on our circumstances. We want to hear from men in the Borders whatever their experience.

“Reaching out for support and talking about our mental health can help. We want to explore the barriers that might exist for men in the Borders when it comes to talking about their mental health.”

Fiona Doig, Joint Health Improvement Team said: ‘We believe in creating caring and connected communities across the Scottish Borders that support and enable men to feel able to seek help when needed and live fulfilling lives.

“We want to find out from men in the Scottish Borders what would help them to come forward for support, and how they can help one another and recognise if a friend, colleague or family member is struggling.

“Hearing directly from men across the Scottish Borders will help us to shape our work around mental health improvement and suicide prevention – sharing your experience might just help save a life.”

If you are struggling to cope or suspect that someone you know is considering suicide, contact Samaritans on 116 123 (24 hours) or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 (lines open 24 hours at weekends and 6pm to 2am on weekdays).

Men living in the Scottish Borders can complete the survey online here