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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 161 > Help for men’s mental health

Help for men’s mental health

In our column and podcast series, Professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of the UKCP, explores real-life challenges that affect all our lives and how psychotherapy can help. This month, due to the groundswell of response to last month’s Dossier on the emotional health of men in the 21st century, she outlines how therapy can literally be a lifeline for our menfolk

Recently, I published a piece of research about how men’s crimes are represented in the media in contrast to the crimes of women. When men commit violent acts, they are said to ‘snap’, as if something beyond their control just clicked momentarily and they behaved a certain way. But, when you delve behind the headlines and examine the real people and their situations, the picture is usually that of long-term issues that have not been acknowledged or addressed. Now, before you accuse me of linking crime to mental health, I assure you there is plenty of evidence to show that men experiencing mental distress are actually far less likely to harm others – but they are more likely to harm themselves.

Widespread misinformation

As someone who has a research interest in both the media and psychotherapy, I’m concerned about the potential impact of unrealistic messages about men’s mental health. First, it is the media who typically associate men’s mental health with violence, when the statistics suggest the opposite. No wonder men wish to keep their feelings under wraps.

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