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Men urged to look after their mental health this International Men’s Day

Date : 19 November 2019


East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting ways men can help look after their mental health.  

It comes as the Service marks International Men’s Day, which is celebrated annually on 19 November.  

According to the Samaritans, in the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women.  

The charity highlights masculinity – the way men are brought up to behave and the roles, attributes and behaviours that society expects of them – as a contributing to suicide in men.  

What makes a “real man”?  

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has asked its staff to help breakdown stereotypes of what make a “real man”.  

Here are some of the comments made and will feature in social media messages:  

"A real man listens to his friends and supports them through the tough times"

"A real man asks for help when he needs it"

"A real man stands up for what he believes in while respecting the views of others".

“A real man strives to recognise and understand others’ needs”

“A real man listens to and respects others” 

NHS top tips  

Manage your stress levels  

If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques. 

Introduce regular exercise and time to yourself. These are positive changes. Taking control of your time in this way can effectively reduce stress. 

If you have feelings of anxiety along with your stress, breathing techniques can help. 

Enjoy yourself 

Doing things that you enjoy is good for your emotional wellbeing. 

Simple activities like watching sports with a friend, having a soak in the bath or meeting up with friends for coffee can all improve your day.  

Doing something you're good at, such as cooking or dancing, is a good way to enjoy yourself and have a sense of achievement. 

Boost your self-esteem 

Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself. 

The best way to improve your self-esteem is to treat yourself as you'd treat a valued friend, in a positive but honest way. 

Notice when you're putting yourself down, such as thinking, "You're so stupid for not getting that job", and instead think, "Would I say that to my best friend?". You probably wouldn't. 

Limit your alcohol intake 

When times are hard, it's tempting to drink alcohol because it "numbs" painful feelings. 

But it can exaggerate some feelings and make you feel angry or aggressive. It can also make you feel more depressed. 

Choose a well-balanced diet 

Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger. You're doing something positive for yourself, which lifts your self-esteem. 

A good diet helps your brain and body work efficiently, too. Aim to have a balanced diet that includes all the main food groups. 

Do some exercise 

Even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. 

It can help you sleep better, have more energy and keep your heart healthy. 

Get enough sleep 

Around 7 to 8 hours is the average amount of sleep an adult needs for their body and mind to fully rest. 

Writing a "to do" list for the next day before bed can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions. 

Talk and share 

Communication is important, whether it's with a friend, family member or counsellor.

Talking things through helps you to release tension, rather than keeping it inside. It helps strengthen your relationships and connect with people. 

Build your resilience 

Resilience is what allows you to cope with life's ups and downs. 

Making something worthwhile out of painful times helps your resilience grow.

Read more on the NHS website.

Need help? 

The Samaritans can be contacted free any time, from any phone, on 116 123. 

A volunteer will answer. If you phone, they will answer with something like "Samaritans, can I help you?"  

You talk, they listen and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.  

They give you space to be yourself. They will focus on your thoughts and feelings, and may ask questions to help you explore how you feel. 

They won't tell you what you should do. They won't make decisions for you, our advice or opinions are not important for the call.

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