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Checking In: The Importance of Talking About Mental Health and Suicide with Young Men


Given the alarming statistic that between 2022 and January 2024, 73% of suicides in the UK were among men, it's crucial to prioritize open conversations about mental health and suicide, especially with young men. Here’s why checking in is essential and how you can make a difference:


Why It's Important


Breaking the Silence:


Many young men feel pressure to appear strong and may be reluctant to talk about their struggles. By initiating the conversation, you help break the silence and reduce the stigma.


Early Intervention:

Talking about mental health can lead to early intervention. When issues are addressed early, there are more options for support and treatment, potentially preventing a crisis.


Showing You Care:

Simply asking if someone is okay can make a big difference. It shows that you care and are willing to listen, which can be incredibly comforting for someone who feels alone.


Encouraging Open Conversations About Mental Health


Normalize the Topic

Make mental health a regular part of your conversations, not just something you talk about in a crisis. This helps normalize the topic and reduce stigma.


Create Safe Spaces

Foster environments at home, school, and in the community where young men feel safe discussing their feelings without fear of judgment.


Lead by Example

Adults and mentors should model healthy emotional expression and seek help when needed. Seeing role models prioritize mental health can inspire young men to do the same.


Share Your Own Feelings

Be open about your own experiences with stress or anxiety. This can make others feel more comfortable sharing their own struggles.


Education and Awareness

Educate young men about mental health through workshops, seminars, and school programs. Knowledge is power and can dispel myths and misconceptions about mental health.


Peer Support

Encourage peer-to-peer support networks. Sometimes, young men feel more comfortable talking to their peers about their struggles.


Normalize Therapy

Talk openly about the benefits of therapy and counselling. Share positive stories and experiences to normalize seeking help.



How to Check In with Someone


Be Direct and Compassionate:

Ask directly, “How are you really doing?” or “I’ve noticed you seem down lately; do you want to talk about it?” This opens the door for honest conversation.


Listen Without Judgment:

If they choose to talk, listen actively and without judgment. Offer your support and understanding without trying to immediately fix the problem.


Offer Resources and Support:

Suggest talking to a school counselor, therapist, or trusted adult. Offer to help them find resources or even accompany them if they feel nervous.


Follow Up:

Keep checking in regularly. Consistent support can make a huge difference and show that your concern is genuine and ongoing.



Promote Mental Health Resources


Ensure that young men are aware of the mental health resources available to them. This can include distributing pamphlets, sharing information on social media, and having resource lists in accessible locations.


Resources to seek help:


Mind: Provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness, and promote understanding.

Contact: 0300 123 3393 Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm


Samaritans: Available 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. They listen without judgment or pressure and offer support for those in distress.

Website: samaritans.org

Contact: 116 123 (Free)

Free 24-hour helpline


YoungMinds: Offers support for young people under 25 struggling with mental health issues, including a crisis messenger service.

Website: youngminds.org.uk 

Crisis Messenger for Young People: Text YM to 85258

Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544 Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm


The Mix: A support service for young people under 25, offering help with mental health, money, homelessness, finding a job, breakups, and drugs.

Website: themix.org.uk



Checking in with young men about their mental health is a crucial step in preventing suicide and promoting overall well-being. By starting the conversation, listening without judgment, and offering consistent support, you can help create a safer and more supportive environment for those who might be struggling. Remember, asking if someone is okay can truly make a life-saving difference.



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