Eluned Morgan calls on men not to neglect their mental health.
Men’s Health Week (15th-21st June) raises awareness of the health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become more aware of health problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it.
This year, the awareness week takes place against the backdrop of the Covid19 pandemic.
Worldwide, the virus is having a major and disproportionate impact upon men, causing uncertainty, disruption and fear for many. For others, its prevalence has had even more devastating consequences.
In addition to an unequal propensity towards particular illnesses and diseases, masculine social norms often discourage the open expression of emotion. Men’s reluctance to vocalise problems and seek out support brings additional health implications.
Research shows that 1 in 3 men in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts, as a result of being stressed.
“Taking care of your body and mind is always important, but even more so now at this challenging time,” said Eluned. “Things are extremely difficult and many will be feeling frustrated, anxious and lonely, but it’s important to remember that it’s okay not to be okay”.
Eluned, who founded the #IPledge2Talk male suicide campaign, is concerned about the mental health consequences of the crisis, and says that “now is the time to reach out”.
“The past few months have been extremely challenging. Life has changed drastically and quickly, leading to widespread stress, financial uncertainty and emotional upheaval. Looking after ourselves and others has never been more important.”
“I’m encouraging everyone to talk to someone they don’t know today (and every day). Go on, just say “hello” – it could be the first step to someone getting the support they need.”
Later this week, the Regional Senedd representative will be hosting an online event with members of Men’s Sheds Cymru – an organisation founded to foster social connections through skill sharing opportunities. Members of the public are invited to join the Zoom call on Friday 19th June from 3pm.
If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support, please seek help – mental health experts are available to listen without judgement: