Health and Wellbeing, Let's Share, Mental health

Men’s mental health support

Scot, Wellbeing Practitioner tells us more about men’s mental health and the support available to students at Cardiff University…

Men can find talking about mental health particularly hard, but talking can be a lifeline. If you’re worried about your mental health, chances are you’re right to be concerned. Talking about it and finding support is the bravest thing you might ever do.

Next week Time to Change Wales are launching their Talking is a Lifeline campaign.

On Thursday 21 Feb 2019, the #TalkingIsALifeline campaign hopes to raise awareness of the challenges men face with their mental health and the difficulties they can experience asking for help.

Whilst mental health problems can affect one in four people at any time, we know that men can find it particularly hard to talk about what they’re feeling.

With only 55% of men who have reported feeling very depressed saying they talked to someone about it (CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016), this is an opportunity to stop and reflect and recognise that asking for support is vital – and also that support is available.

Support for students

We want all students to feel able to come forward and ask for support if they feel they need it. Some believe that staying silent about how they feel, keeping calm and carrying on, is the way to show strength. There is no doubt talking about mental health can be difficult to do, but talking about your feelings and exploring possible ways to change them for the better is certainly not weakness.

The university’s Student Support and Wellbeing team provides information, support services and events to help you manage your emotional, mental and physical health whilst at university.

You can access self-help resources, support from a fellow student, workshops, groups and courses, counselling and wellbeing appointments, advice on violence, abuse and unhealthy relationships and what to do if urgent help is needed through the concerned about a student procedure.

There are student ‘health and wellbeing’ events you may find helpful, including: talking to a fellow student, suicide safety, men’s therapy group, boosting your confidence and more.

Student Support and Wellbeing’s Let’s Share campaign seeks to end stigma around mental health and amplifies the messages from Time to Change by encouraging you to:

  • Speak about your mental health
  • Help others to talk about their mental health
  • Access support for mental health
  • Recognise language is important
  • Expect small things to make a big difference.

Watch our #LetsShare video, featuring students and staff, who have been brave enough to speak about their own personal experiences of mental health.

Marios, one of our male Wellbeing Champions (student volunteers who provide peer support to fellow students) has also made his own inspirational video which links to the #LetsShare Campaign, inspired by his own experiences and those of two other students, all about the potential damaging impact of struggling alone with problems and the importance of speaking out about our experiences.   Marios had the courage to share his video publicly for the first time on National Time to Talk Day.  We know that sharing personal experiences like this can impact so positively on others and that it is also one of the most powerful ways to break down mental health stigma.    

Watch Marios’s video, here.

The Students’ Union’s ‘Alright Mate?’ campaign is a male mental health campaign which seeks to raise awareness of the challenges which men can face in terms of mental health and accessing support.

The AlrightMate campaign aims to:

·         Raise awareness and start important discussion around this topic

·         Improve visibility and access to support services

·         Breakdown the stigma people may face for opening up about their emotional wellbeing

·         Encourage every Cardiff University student regardless of gender or identity that they are entitled to support, and that speaking up and speaking out about mental health is a strength and, not a weakness.

Watch the Student Union’s alrightmate campaign video (warning: the video contains some sensitive content).

Men are around 3 times more likely to take their own lives in comparison to womenaccording to the Samaritans (unfortunately statistics for non-binary people are not available yet). Student Support and Wellbeing are running A Keep Safe: Suicide Safety workshop for students who identify as male, on Thursday 21 February, 9:30am in the Glamorgan Council Chamber of the Glamorgan Building. The session aims to help students who identify as male to give them an opportunity to learn specific skills around supporting themselves and other people who might be at risk of suicide.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is an organisation dedicated to supporting men who are struggling, need a place to talk, or want to gain access to information and support. You can call their helpline (0800 58 58 58 Nationwide, or 0808 802 58 58 if you are calling from London), which is open between 5pm and midnight, 365 days per year. There is also a webchat service which can offer text-based support, also open between 5pm and midnight.  

Please don’t suffer in silence; please know that support is available if you are struggling with your mental health and please don’t hesitate to access it.  

The Students’ Union’s ‘Alright Mate?’ campaign is a response to the alarmingly high rate of male suicide in the UK. Suicide is the biggest killer of UK men under 45, and in Great Britain alone, an average of 84 men take their own life per week.

The AlrightMate campaign aims to:

  • Raise awareness and start important discussion around this topic
  • Improve visibility and access to support services
  • Breakdown the stigma people may face for opening up about their emotional wellbeing
  • Encourage every Cardiff University student regardless of gender or identity that they are entitled to support, and that speaking up and speaking out about mental health is a STRENGTH, and NOT a weakness.

Watch the Student Union’s alrightmate campaign video (warning: the video contains some sensitive content).

Men are around 3 times more likely to take their own lives in comparison to women, according to the Samaritans, which is why Student Support and Wellbeing are running A Keep Safe: Suicide Safety workshop for students who identify as male, on Thursday 21February, 9:30am in the Glamorgan Council Chamber of the Glamorgan Building. The session aims to help students who identify as male to give them an opportunity to learn specific skills around supporting themselves and others at risk of suicide.

Finally, I couldn’t talk about men’s mental health without mentioning the nationwide charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). This organisation is dedicated to supporting men who are struggling, need a place to talk, or want to gain access to information and support. You can call their helpline (0800 58 58 58 Nationwide, or 0808 802 58 58 if you are calling from London), which is open between 5pm and midnight, 365 days per year. There is also a webchat service which can offer text-based support, also open between 5pm and midnight.  

Best wishes
Scot
Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.

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