Men’s mental health put under the microscope – guest Voices panel give their views

Mental health awareness is today’s hot topic. As men’s mental health is put under the microscope, especially young men, we ask our guest panel: Should more be done to help men discuss their mental health problems before it’s too late? Here’s what they had to say

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 09:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 10:34 am
Young depressed man wearing sweater and glasses opening up to his psychologist about mental problems

FORMER EDLINGTON MAYOR, FRANK ARROWSMITH

I spent around 20 years in mental health services in Doncaster and I saw cases of men with mental health issues at first hand.

Frank Arrowsmith

One of the big issues in this area has always been about getting the adequate level of funding.When you look at statistics young males have a high suicide rate – we need to make progress we need to start addressing this.There needs to an increase in not only funding but also in the number of practitioners who are experts in this field. In the past ten years there's been some progress in this area, but it has been hampered by inadequate funding. I realise that the funding pot is not a bottomless pit, but this particular area has been badly under-funded, as there has always been a big divide between funding of physical and areas of mental health. The discussion needs to be opened up more.

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HATFIELD TOWN COUNCILLOR, MICK GLYNN

I feel that there should be much more provision for people with mental health problems.

If people are suffering from depression it’s better for them and the health care system that they are diagnosed at an early stage, so much more needs to be done to ensure this is the case. It seems that many people are in denial about their mental health and that stigma needs to be removed. No one likes to admit that they have a psychological problem, but if we can let people know that it’s okay to talk about this then they wouldn’t be inclined to bottle it up.

Councillor Mick Glynn

It’s also down to education. What we need to do as a society is let people know from a very young age, in the classroom, that this topic isn’t something to be afraid of. Lots of areas are affected by this and people should know who to turn to in a crisis.

HATFIELD COUNCILLOR, BILL MORRISON

I totally agree that more help is needed in this area.

It seems to be ingrained deep into our psyche that topics such as this are not discussed by men and that isn’t right. A programme needs to be put in place to open up this discussion on mental health.

Hatfield councillor Bill Morrison

It needs to be made clear to young men that talking about their mental health is okay.

Convincing them that they are not being stupid doing this may be a problem, but not an insurmountable one. Remember, the young man today is the old man tomorrow and the more we bury these feelings it will only mount up trouble in the future.

If people carry problems through into adulthood it can become a major problem. There are so many pressures on young people these days, especially from social media and trolling, so these issues need dealing with now.

PUBLICITY OFFICER AND MARKETING FOR DONCASTER LITTLE THEATRE, YVE ROBINSON

Yve Robinson, publicity officer and marketing for Doncaster Little Theatre

I feel it’s an imperative that we deal with the issue of mental health sooner rather than later and that we get this right.

My son is 21 and I openly discuss things with him. Young men from 17 to 25 are quite vulnerable and there is a lot of pressure on them.

It is hard and there are those who are not able to discuss their feelings. Although not in my family, it seems that in many families there is a feeling that young men should just get on with things.

This can lead to young men bottling their emotions up and we need to change people’s perceptions about what mental health is. We need to make it plain to people that when the topic of mental health is discussed it isn’t about someone getting carted away to be treated, as poor mental health can take many forms. We need to take this issue more seriously.