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Talking as a Lifeline: Breaking the Stigma Surrounding Men’s Mental Health


Men often find it challenging to open up about their mental health struggles and as a result, are more likely to suffer in silence. However, this silence can be harmful to their overall wellbeing, leading to severe consequences such as depression, anxiety, and in extreme cases, suicide.

Time to Change Wales aims to empower men to speak openly about their mental health and seek the support they need.

Mental health problems can affect one in four people at any time. Men can find talking about mental health particularly hard, but talking is a lifeline.

Only 29% of men know someone with a mental health problem. It’s time we asked the question for men’s mental health: ‘Are you alright?’

The #TalkingIsALifeline campaign aims to encourage men to talk about their mental health without the fear of being judged. Talking is a Lifeline emphasises that talking about mental health might be one of the bravest things a man can do.

Latest research on public attitudes to mental illness in Wales commissioned by Time to Change Wales included a question on knowing someone with a mental health problem. This found that just 29% of men report that they know someone with a mental health problem, and that men are less likely to feel comfortable discussing their own mental health with friends or family.

Prevailing attitudes and language are major problems that makes it difficult for men to open up to a mental health problem: ‘be strong’, ‘man up’, ‘men don’t cry’ are terms often used negatively to judge men who acknowledge poor mental health.

Worried about a friend or loved one?

Start a conversation, ask the question, ‘are you alright?’ and be prepared to listen. Sometimes all it takes is talking. But, just as with physical illness, a visit to the doctor may be necessary to put things right.

Share your own story

Join the conversation with #TalkingIsALifeline or write to us at [email protected]. Read the stories shared by men with personal experiences of mental health problems, and write to us with yours.

It's time we asked the question for men's mental health. It's time to change Wales. #TalkingIsALifeline

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