New research reveals the shocking truth surrounding stigma around men seeking help for mental health issues.

Two in five men aged between 20 and 59 do not ask for help when they need it because they prefer to try to solve problems themselves, the Samaritans survey found.

The research for The Samaritans, conducted by Atomik Research, found that while more than three quarters of those surveyed said it is alright to admit when you are not feeling OK, sadly a quarter of them felt their problems were not important enough to warrant calling a helpline.

When asked what factors have triggered men to feel low, a third (33%) said that debt or financial worries have made them feel low or find life difficult. Other major factors included relationship breakdown or family problems (29%), job loss or job related problems (25%), physical illness (23%), and bereavement (23%).

The survey also found that younger people were also likely to have experienced low mood as a result of benefit or welfare problems (14% of 25-34 year-olds), addictions (13% of 25 to 34 year-olds), and identity problems (11% of this age bracket), particularly those pertaining to gender or sexuality.

When they’re finding life tough, over half (54%) of men discuss the issue with their partner. A third (32%) would talk things through with their friends, and just over a third (23%) would discuss their problems with their parents. But nearly a fifth (18%) say they wouldn’t speak to anyone if they were finding life tough.

40% of the men surveyed say that they prefer to solve their issues by themselves, and this is the main reason prohibiting them from reaching out to others when they’re having a difficult time. 29% of men don’t want to feel like a burden, and over a fifth (21%) feel like their problems wouldn’t be understood. 20% don’t reach out to others for fear of being judged, and other factors, like not feeling like they have the energy (17%), not knowing who to speak to (14%), and not having people they can trust enough to discuss their issues with (13%) were all cited as issues preventing men from reaching out when they’re struggling.

When asked why they wouldn’t contact a helpline when they’re feeling low, a third (33%) of men aged 20-59 say they wouldn’t want to speak to a stranger about their problems. Almost as many (29%) say they wouldn’t want to talk on the phone, and over a quarter (26%) say their problems aren’t important enough to warrant calling a helpline. 24% feel that calling a helpline wouldn’t help them.

View the full case study here to find out how we carried out this research and the coverage it generated.

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