Supporting the Men in Our Lives: A Therapist’s Guide to Recognizing and Helping with Men’s Mental Health

As a therapist dedicated to family well-being, I often stress the importance of paying attention to the mental health of all family members, especially the men. It’s no secret that men, traditionally, might find it harder to open up about their mental struggles. UK-based research indicates that men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues compared to women. This makes it crucial for families to be vigilant and supportive.

Recognizing the Signs:

Changes in Behaviour: Look for changes in mood, such as increased irritability, anger, or sadness. Men might not explicitly say they’re feeling down, but their actions can speak volumes.

Withdrawal: If a family member is withdrawing from social activities, hobbies, or family gatherings, this could be a sign of struggling with mental health.

Changes in Sleep Patterns: Too much or too little sleep can both be indicators of mental distress.

Substance Use: An increase in the use of alcohol or other substances can be a coping mechanism for underlying mental health issues.

Physical Symptoms: Sometimes, mental health issues manifest physically, like frequent headaches or stomach issues without a clear medical cause.



Creating a Supportive Environment:

Open Communication: Foster an environment where it’s okay to talk about feelings. Simple conversations can make a big difference.

Non-Judgmental Listening: Offer an ear without trying to ‘fix’ things immediately. Sometimes, being heard is what matters most.

Encourage Professional Help: Professional help should be sought if the symptoms persist or worsen. It’s important to remind them that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Resources and Further Information:

Mind (www.mind.org.uk): A leading mental health charity in the UK, offering advice, support, and information.

Men’s Health Forum (www.menshealthforum.org.uk): Dedicated to providing information and resources specifically for men’s health.

Samaritans (www.samaritans.org): Available 24/7 for anyone who needs someone to talk to.

NHS Mental Health Services (www.nhs.uk): Provides guidance and details on accessing mental health services in the UK.

CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably, www.thecalmzone.net): Focused on preventing male suicide, they offer support for men in the UK.

Recognizing and supporting the mental health of men in our lives is not just a personal issue; it’s a societal one. The stigmas associated with men’s mental health are slowly being dismantled, and as a community, we can contribute to this positive change. Whether it’s a father, brother, son, or friend, showing empathy and understanding can make a world of difference. Let’s be vigilant and supportive, encouraging the men in our lives to seek help when needed and reminding them they are not alone in their struggles. Together, we can foster a healthier, more open environment for discussing and dealing with mental health issues.

Unhappy Man

Support Options in Tyne & Wear

Here is a list of specific support options for men in the Tyne and Wear region, focusing on mental health:

  1. ManHealth: Provides peer support services, activities like walking and football groups, and accredited training and short courses for businesses to address men’s mental health. They focus on supporting men through mental and physical ill health challenges, ultimately aiming to prevent suicide​​​​​​​​.
  2. In a Mental Health Emergency: Contact Tees, Esk, Wear Valley NHS Trust at 0800 0516 171, available 24/7 for individuals living in County Durham, Darlington, Teesside, and surrounding areas​​.
  3. Andy’s Man Club: Offers peer support for men, meeting on Mondays at 7pm at Souter Lighthouse, Sunderland, SR6 7NH​​.
  4. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): Provides listening services, information, support, and a web chat service. Contact number: 0800 58 58 58​​.
  5. Clubhouses: Peer support for people with Severe Mental Illness. Contact number: 07845 668 903​​.
  6. Escape Intervention Services: Promotes the emotional, social, educational, and vocational competence of children and young people. Located at 3 Waverley, Market Dock, Long Row, South Shields, NE33 1LE, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom​​.
  7. EvenBetter: Offers a range of Mental Health Support. Located at Bilton Hall CIO, Taunton Avenue, Jarrow, NE32 3RT. Contact number: 07845 668 903​​.
  8. FRANK: National drugs information and advice service, available 24/7. Provides support related to drug use and its impact on mental health​​.
  9. Hearing Voices Network: Offers information and support for people who hear voices or have other unshared perceptions, including local support groups​​.
  10. Kind Mind Community: A recovery college offering courses, activities, and volunteering opportunities. Contact number: 0191 217 2935​​.
  11. Kooth: Provides free online support and counselling for ages 10-25​​.
  12. Lifecycle Primary Care Mental Health Service: Aims to help people experiencing mild to moderately severe mental health problems in South Tyneside​​.
  13. Mental Health Matters South Tyneside Advocacy Service: Offers independent case advocacy. Located at Room 3, John Hunt House, 27 Beach Road, South Shields, NE33 2QA. Contact number: 0191 427 1500​​.
  14. Mental Health Matters South Tyneside Supported Accommodation: Provides support for people with mental health needs in South Tyneside to help them gain and maintain their homes. Located at John Hunt House, 27 Beach Road, South Shields, NE33 2QA. Contact number: 0191 496 7467​​.
  15. MindOut: Mental health service run by and for LGBTQ+ people. Contact number: 01273 234839​​.
  16. No Panic: Provides a helpline, step-by-step programmes, and support for people with anxiety disorders. Contact number: 0300 772 9844​​.
  17. Papyrus HOPELINEUK: Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them. Open 24/7. Contact number: 0800 068 41 41 / 0786 0039 967 (text)​​.
  18. Perinatal Mental Health Support: Offers mental health support pre-conception to 1 year post-partum. Contact number: 0191 246 7400​​.
  19. Qwell: Free online support and counselling for people over the age of 18​​.
  20. Samaritans: Open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. Contact number: 116 123​​.
  21. Sane: Offers emotional support and information for anyone affected by mental health problems, including a helpline. Contact number: 0300 304 7000​​.
  22. SHOUT: A free, confidential, 24/7 text support service. To start a conversation, text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258​​.
  23. Student Minds: Supports students with mental health issues. Contact number: 0808 808 4994



As a therapist, I hope this post helps in understanding the nuances of men’s mental health and provides useful resources for further support. Remember, mental health is as important as physical health, and taking care of it is vital for a fulfilling life.

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