Category: Suicide


Understanding the Impact: The Men’s Mental Health Crisis in Autumn.

The natural world around us undergoes a remarkable transformation as the vibrant hues of summer give way to the warm, earthy tones of autumn. Leaves fall, temperatures drop, and the days shorten. While many find solace in the cozy atmosphere and the promise of pumpkin-spiced everything, for others, this seasonal shift goes hand in hand with an emotional transition.

For men in the United Kingdom aged between 25 and 35, the onset of autumn can present a unique set of challenges to their mental health. In this comprehensive blog post, we embark on a journey to explore the profound significance of men’s mental health during this distinct season. We’ll then unravel the myriad benefits that counseling offers as an invaluable resource for addressing the autumn blues head-on.

Prioritising Mental Health: A Vital Undertaking

Central to our discourse is the unequivocal importance of placing mental health on the same pedestal as physical well-being. In truth, mental health should always be considered as significant as one’s physical health. However, the issue often arises from the challenge of recognising and acknowledging one’s mental health concerns. Thia ia a challenge that looms prominently, particularly for men.

In this context, it’s crucial to acknowledge how societal expectations and entrenched stereotypes have played a role in perpetuating the notion that men should embody stoicism and unwavering resolve in the face of emotional turmoil. These deeply ingrained beliefs can make it profoundly challenging for men to break free from these constraints. With the knock on effect being they are unable to express their innermost feelings openly, and, most importantly, seek help when needed.

The Seasonal Struggle: Unpacking the Autumnal Impact

Autumn gracefully descends upon us, ushering in shorter days and longer nights, as nature readies itself for the approaching winter. This seasonal shift can cast a shadow over the emotional landscape of many individuals. As feelings of melancholy and fatigue take center stage. This phenomenon is often termed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and during this season, it emerges as an unwelcome companion for numerous souls.

Counselling for men

It’s worth noting that SAD does not discriminate; it affects people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. Yet, it’s vital to recognise that men, in particular, may face unique challenges in identifying and addressing its symptoms. The societal expectation for men to remain emotionally steadfast can lead them to dismiss or downplay these feelings. Often attributing them to transient, external factors rather than recognising the internal struggles they may be facing.

In this light, we unveil the intricate connection between the societal expectations placed upon men and their ability to navigate the shifting emotional terrain of autumn. The Autumnal Impact, as we refer to it here, serves as a reminder of the imperative need for open dialogues around men’s mental health, transcending stereotypes and forging paths toward emotional well-being.

The Significance of Counseling for Men During Autumn

Breaking the Stigma: A Crucial Step Towards Well-being

One of the primary reasons counselling holds exceptional significance in the context of men’s mental health is its pivotal role in dismantling the pervasive stigma that surrounds emotional expression and seeking help. Counselling stands as a beacon of hope, offering a safe and confidential sanctuary where men can candidly unravel their thoughts and emotions. Men can be liberated from the shackles of judgment or societal expectations. Within these therapeutic spaces, a transformative environment thrives. One that challenges conventional gender roles and empowers men to wholeheartedly embrace their emotional well-being.

Building an Emotional Toolbox: Equipping for the Season

Autumn, with its inherent beauty, also ushers in a unique set of emotional challenges. It’s during this season that the autumn blues can descend, casting shadows of stress, anxiety, or even depression. Counseling, like a seasoned guide, provides individuals with a treasure trove of invaluable tools, honed through years of therapeutic expertise. These tools, when wielded with care, enable men to navigate the intricate labyrinth of their emotions with grace and resilience. In the midst of the autumnal tempest, these coping strategies become not just beneficial but essential, offering a lifeline in moments of emotional turbulence.

“There is nothing impossible to they who will try.”

 Alexander the Great

Preventative Care: Nurturing Mental Well-being

Much like routine visits to a physician for physical check-ups, counseling emerges as a form of preventive care for mental health. Regular counseling sessions serve as vigilant sentinels, discerning and addressing latent concerns before they can evolve into more severe conditions. This proactive approach stands as a testament to your commitment to self-care—a dedication that ensures not just a healthier and happier you during the autumn season but also a more robust emotional well-being that reverberates throughout the entire year.

In essence, the significance of counseling during autumn transcends mere words; it is an embodiment of empowerment, resilience, and self-compassion. It extends a helping hand through the swirling tempest of the autumn blues, enabling men to steer their emotional ship with unwavering confidence. It’s a commitment to self-discovery, a refusal to be bound by stereotypes, and a pledge to embrace emotional well-being unreservedly. Amidst the rustling leaves and changing seasons, counseling emerges as a steadfast companion, offering solace and strength as you navigate the profound landscape of your emotions.

Taking the First Steps: Your Path to Men’s Mental Health in Autumn

For those men in the United Kingdom, aged 25 to 35, who are contemplating seeking counseling to bolster their mental health during the autumn season, embarking on this journey is a commendable act of self-care and resilience. Here, we provide you with practical guidance to initiate this transformative process:

1. Professional Guidance: Navigating with Expertise

Your first step towards embracing counselling is reaching out to a counsellor who specialises in men’s mental health. These seasoned experts possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges men often face when it comes to their emotional well-being. By seeking their guidance, you embark on a journey that is tailored to your specific needs and challenges. Through their expertise, you’ll find a compass to navigate the intricate terrain of your emotions.

2. Seek Recommendations: Trust in Personal Referrals

Don’t underestimate the power of personal recommendations. Trust in the experiences and insights of friends, family, or trusted individuals who have embarked on a similar journey. They can offer valuable referrals to experienced and empathetic counselors skilled in addressing men’s mental health concerns. It’s a testament to the strength of community and the support network that surrounds you.

3. Online Resources: Harnessing the Digital Frontier

In today’s interconnected world, a wealth of mental health resources is at your fingertips. Explore online platforms and resources that not only provide valuable mental health information but also offer options for virtual counselling sessions. This can be particularly advantageous during the autumn season when the inclination to stay indoors prevails. The digital realm extends a convenient avenue for seeking the support you need, irrespective of physical boundaries.

4. Embrace Self-Care: A Holistic Approach

Counselling, while invaluable, is but one facet of your journey towards enhanced mental well-being. In conjunction with seeking professional help, consider the incorporation of self-care practices into your daily routine. Simple habits like regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in mindfulness activities wield the potential for a profoundly positive impact on your mental health. These practices become your allies as you navigate the intricacies of the autumn blues, fostering a more robust emotional resilience.

Counselling for men

In summation, embarking on the path to men’s mental health during the autumn season is a testament to your commitment to self-discovery, self-compassion, and well-being. It is an investment in a healthier and happier you, not just for this season but for the seasons that follow. By taking these first steps, you not only unlock the potential for personal transformation but also contribute to the broader narrative surrounding men’s mental health—ushering in an era where emotional well-being is celebrated, and stereotypes are replaced with authentic expressions of self.

In Conclusion: Embracing the Seasonal Shift for Holistic Well-being

In summation, let us recognise that autumn transcends being merely a season of change in the natural world; it offers an exquisite opportunity for personal transformation and profound self-reflection. For men aged 25 to 35 residing in the United Kingdom, acknowledging the distinctive mental health challenges that accompany this season is a pivotal stride towards nurturing holistic well-being.

Embracing counselling as an invaluable resource for addressing the autumn blues signifies an act of profound self-compassion, resilience, and unwavering strength. It is not a fleeting choice but a resolute commitment to cultivating a happier, healthier version of oneself. This commitment that extends far beyond the confines of this particular season. By taking this path, you embark on a journey that celebrates emotional well-being, challenges stereotypes, and champions authenticity. A journey where each season becomes an opportunity for growth, transformation, and the unwavering pursuit of a more fulfilling, vibrant life.

Need help with anger?

If you would like to talk to someone confidentially about managing anger, then I can help.

Suicide: the bane of masculinity

As I casually flicked through my Twitter feed I remember the feeling of sadness at seeing another icon of my youth, Keith Flint of ‘The Prodigy’ had committed suicide.  The feeling instantly took me back to how I felt in July 2017, when Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, committed suicide too.  I was heartbroken.  The music of both The Prodigy and Linkin Park elicit fond memories from my teenage years and fill my head and my heart with thoughts and feelings of an optimistic youth with his best years ahead of him. 

This is the gift both Keith and Chester gave to me and I will forever be grateful to their pioneering geniuses.  Gifts given to me and millions of fans around the world who were uplifted by the energy in both their music and their on stage performances and consoled by the poignancy of their lyrics.

Chester Bennington

When we lose icons like Chester and Keith as well as men like Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and Audioslave to suicide, it brings the subject to the fore and creates discussions but how many men are seeing suicide as a serious threat to both themselves and their families? Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45.  Bigger than any cancer. 

Keith Flint

Suicide claims more lives of British men under 45 years of age than anything else, so shouldn’t we be doing something about it? While suicide affects women, it doesn’t claim nearly as many lives, with the figure being roughly a third of the male suicide rate and yet there is a higher rate of depression diagnosis in women. 

There are 15.5 male deaths per 100,000, in the UK, compared to women, with the figure standing at 4.9 female deaths per 100,000.  The figures for death by suicide in the United States and Australia, both show similar trends.  Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, in Australia and in the United States, that figure rises to men being 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women.

So why do more men commit suicide than women?

Well, we can identify several ‘risk factors’ and one of the biggest risk factors I am aware of and a risk factor many of my male clients identify as a major issue, is communication, or lack of it.  We could put it down to women being more “open” and willing to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions, while men “bottle it up” and feel less able to tell their loved ones or friends what “going on for them” but is it as simple and as straightforward as that?

For too long I feel it is true that western society has for generation after generation encouraged men to be “strong” and to not admit when they are struggling but that’s why many of my clients who seek counselling for men contact me because they realise that they do need to talk to someone.  The problem is, by the time they come to me for counselling, they’ve already had many years of experience of not talking about the anxieties

And its not just how men feel emotionally either.  If there is something physically wrong with a man, they are less likely than women to put themselves into the vulnerable position of asking for help.  The ‘Health and Social Care bill’ found that men visited their GP’s 20% less frequently than women.  It’s not that men don’t have the same issues as women but it’s that men are less likely to share a problem preferring to resolutely say “I’ll be fine”.  This attitude puts men at a greater risk of suicide.

Counselling for men

What are the other risk factors?

While it’s not unusual to hear of women in the UK drinking excessively, the Samaritans advise that men are more likely to turn to alcohol to when they are in distress, with alcohol being a known risk factor for suicide.  Another major risk factor of male suicide is employment.  Men are traditionally the “main bread winner” so when unemployment rises as a result of economic downturn, we see an increase in the number of suicides.   

A study by Bristol, Manchester and Oxford University, estimated that an additional 1,000 suicides and “30 to 40 thousand” attempts were made as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.  While money worries can understandably contribute to a man considering suicide, the reduction in finances, is the tip of the iceberg.  Simon Gunning, the CEO of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) says “We’re brought up our entire lives to judge ourselves in comparison with our peers and to be economically successful.  When there are economic factors we can’t control, it becomes very difficult.”

What can be done?

To reduce the number of male deaths by suicide, attitudes towards talking about suicide need to change.  If we become more comfortable about talking about suicide, we can become more able to help someone who might be suffering with suicidal thoughts.  Here are some ways you can help someone you feel could be contemplating suicide:

Know the warning signs:

  • Mood changes – a sudden change from sad to happy can appear as though someone is in “a better place” but it could also be because they have decided that they are prepared to commit suicide.
  • Withdrawal – be aware of people who are not going out or socialising as much as they once did.
  • Changes to sleeping and eating patterns – someone who eats or sleeps excessively can be a warning sign as much as someone who can’t sleep or doesn’t eat.
  • A lack of energy or seeming “run down” – someone who is lethargic may be struggling.
  • Poor personal hygiene – if someone isn’t showering, brushing their teeth or wearing clean clothes, could be suffering from poor mental health.
  • Drink/drugs/gambling – excessive drinking, gambling and drug taking, can be warning signs that someone has “more going on in their lives” than they are letting on.
  • Recklessness – a person who is “risk taking” may be in danger.
  • Anger issues – Someone who is easily irritable or seems “always angry”, is possibly struggling with mental health issues.

What can I do to help someone who may be suicidal?

  • Be there for them.  Give them space to talk, if they need it.
  • Don’t pressure them to talk to you if they really don’t want to.
  • It’s also ok to ask someone if they feel suicidal.  While it can be a scary thing to do, it shows the person that someone is paying attention to them, which can make a difference.
  • Try to help the person explore their feelings and it may seem hard but try not to be judgemental if the person is drinking too much or dependant on drugs.  They probably realise that already and if they feel judged they’re more likely to respond negatively and reject your help.
  • If the person agrees, remove anything that could be used to take their life.
  • Get some help – you can call a GP’s surgery, 999 or take them to A&E but stay with them.
  • Get support – it’s tough hearing that someone you love or care for is thinking of suicide and it can leave many people feeling upset.  Get support from other friends or family members but if you don’t feel you are able to, there are agencies who can support you.

Useful contacts

Do you need to talk?

If you would like to talk to someone, then I can help.

Home & Contact & About & Blog & Online Counselling & Boys and Teenagers