Mental health amongst men – breaking the stigma

Keith Alexander, Chair of Skipton Mental Health First Aiders, Senior Financial Adviser Supervisor, and qualified Financial Adviser with over 35 years of experience, writes about:

  • The stigma of mental health amongst men, with many suffering in silence
  • Money worries being one of the biggest triggers for men
  • How speaking to a financial expert could be the step you need to start feeling better.

Empowering Men's Mental Health

This month, we have International Men’s Day (Sunday 19 November). This is a date I feel incredibly passionate about. Not because I’m a fellow male. But because it shines a light on the mental health struggles so many men face alone.

According to 2023 figures from Priory, one in three men think they’ve had a mental health condition at some point in their life. Before becoming a Mental Health First Aider, I, too, grappled with my own mental health. I know just how crippling it can be. And if you’re not feeling yourself right now, I really hope this article can help you in some way.

I wanted to understand more about how I was feeling and what I was going through. So that I could help others.

The widespread stigma

Of course, mental health problems affect men and women alike.

Yet like so many other men, I find it particularly hard to ‘open up’. With 40% of men confessing they’ve never spoken to anyone about their mental challenges according to research undertaken by the Priory.

The crux of the problem? The pervasive ‘man up’ mindset still exists. There’s this profound pressure for us to be strong and in control. Especially when it comes to our feelings.

But because of these traditional stereotypes, the tough reality is that so many men suffer in silence. Keeping thoughts of emptiness, worthlessness, anxiety, and stress inside.

If you’re struggling, you're allowed to feel vulnerable, speaking up shows a great amount of courage and strength. We want to help break this stigma and spread more awareness over the barriers men face when it comes to mental health.

Financial anxiety is often a key trigger

Financial anxiety is one of the biggest concerns affecting men’s mental health.

  • Studies show that men with higher levels of financial stress are more likely to experience depression.
  • A recent survey by Creditspring found that 23% of people say their current mental health situation is the worst it has ever been due to financial concerns since the cost-of-living crisis began.
  • The Money and Pensions service says people with positive financial wellbeing often have better overall mental and physical health, as well as relationships.

Financial wellbeing is all about being in more control over your money and having greater financial security. Not just now, but in the future, too.

It may be the financial future that you’re feeling particularly insecure about right now.

Perhaps you’re worried about retirement? Maybe you’re unsure if you’ll have enough money to cover any unexpected costs in the future? Or you want the comfort of knowing your family will be financially ok, no matter what happens?

Whatever your worries, putting a solid financial plan in place could help you feel much more in control. Boost your overall financial wellbeing and lift a huge weight off your shoulders.

Time to feel better about your financial future

If your long-term finances are playing on your mind, firstly, please don’t feel ashamed to talk about it.

Confiding in a person you trust can ease any pent-up stress you’re feeling right now. And I’m not just talking about a friend or family member. There’s a lot of financial support out there, including financial advice, which could help you:

  • Feel clearer about your overall financial situation
  • Feel more confident in the decisions you make
  • Put stronger plans in place, to help you achieve your goals.

Research by Royal London further supports the notion that financial advice could help to boost your emotional wellbeing. The study has found that those who seek financial advice generally feel more in control and have better peace of mind.

According to 2023 research by Wealth Wizards, making better financial decisions could not only improve our psychological and physical well-being, but also our confidence.

We’re here to support you

Mental health is something that, at Skipton Building Society, we take very seriously. Beyond helping people with their finances, we’re supporting Mental Health UK, and since 2020, we’ve already raised over £500,000 to help the cause.

We recognise the key role financial wellbeing plays when it comes to mental health. And we want you to know, we’re here to try and support you.

To make your life easier, we’ve made sure our service is as accessible as possible and we have information about how we can support your mental health difficulties.

It can start with a free, friendly chat

A My Review chat could be the step you need to start feeling better about your financial wellbeing.

This is a relaxed chat with one of our experienced savings specialists. Either over the phone, in branch, or via our video link service.

During a My Review, we’ll:

  • Go at your pace and listen carefully to you
  • Look at your savings and see what actions you could take to help make your money work harder
  • Find ways that could help you feel confident over your finances, with no pressure to act.

Get in touch

What’s more, it’s completely free to talk to us.

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