November 2018 - Headgym

Men and mental health the stigma

Men and mental health the stigma

HeadGym have worked with many men who have found it difficult to talk about mental health below are the results of a study conducted by Priory healthcare which show some interesting results

In 2015 Priory (Priory healthcare) commissioned a survey of 1,000 men to look at men’s attitudes towards their own mental health.

  • 77% of men polled have suffered from anxiety/stress/depression 
  • The biggest pressures in men’s lives are work (32%), finance (31%) and health (23%)
  • Majority of men claim their mental health is having a negative impact on their work performance, parenting ability and relationships in particular
  • 40% of men polled said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help

Men’s preferred confidant

The results showed that 66% would share their feelings with their partner above anyone else.

The reasons men don’t talk about their mental health:

  • ‘I’ve learnt to deal with it’ (40%) 
  • ‘I don’t wish to be a burden to anyone’ (36%)
  • ‘I’m too embarrassed’ (29%)
  • ‘There’s a negative stigma around this type of thing’ (20%)
  • ‘I don’t want to admit I need support’ (17%)
  • ‘I don’t want to appear weak’ (16%)
  • ‘I have no one to talk to’ (14%)

Almost one quarter (22%) of respondents said they would not feel comfortable even speaking to a GP or any other professional; the main reason is is that they worry it will waste their GP’s time.

It is interesting that the survey identified that men worry about wasting their GP’s time with these sorts of problems. It does need to be made clear that depression and anxiety are perfectly legitimate reasons to seek medical care, after all, GPs spend about 30% of their time dealing with psychological issues”.

Work-related stress and financial concerns

Respondents were asked about the biggest causes of pressure in their life.  Work-related pressure came top of the list at 32%. This was followed closely by financial pressures at 31% and health concerns at 23%.

A more seasonal pressure felt predominantly by men aged 35-44 years of age, is the pending cost of Christmas – also a more popular concern felt by those living in London.

The survey highlighted that for 40% of men it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help.

Encouragingly, 60% of men polled have shared their feelings of anxiety with someone at some point. Based on the 77% who admit to suffering mental health issues, however, there remain a number of men living in the UK who feel unable to speak to a friend or professional about potentially serious symptoms.

If you would like to talk with somebody in confidence contact us or join our community at 

The most profitable investment is the one you’re making to your own health. Do not miss your chance to get stronger, healthier, self-confident and tons of positive energy! Sign up to the Headgym to build yourself esteem!