Every November, Australia focuses on men’s health and there is a growing awareness about the physical and mental problems they can face. Social and mental health play a big role in men’s wellbeing and a recent study has shown something alarming: millions of men say they have no close friends.
Sarah Berry reported the original story for the Sydney Morning Herald on the 17th of November, 2015:
“New research by the Movember Foundation reveals that a devastating number of men feel friendless. The survey found that 51 per cent of respondents – the equivalent of about two and a half million British men – have no close friends.”
The study’s finds are not just a uniquely British problem. In Australia, 1.1 million men have reported feeling socially isolated and another equally proportionate group stated they were unhappy with their relationships.
These statistics are quite alarming when you consider that mental illness and suicide are so prevalent today:
“Other new research by British charity “Calm” (Campaign Against Living Miserably) has found that more than four in 10 men have thought about taking their own lives at some point.”
“In the 1960s, about double the number of men to women died from suicide. Now, about triple the number of men die from suicide in Australia each year.”
Research has also been done to look at what can combat depression, suicide and social isolation:
“Research this year revealed that men’s mental and physical health benefit from marriage, more than women.
A separate study, however, showed how much men still need their mates. The researchers found that male bonding is more likely to lower a man’s stress levels than a night out with his partner, or time spent with the family.”
Why do men feel like they can’t reach out? Respondents often stated they just felt like it was all part of life and they there wasn’t the support available for them. Health professionals want men to know that this isn’t the case, and there is help available.