Society is finally recognising the challenges many people face with their mental health.
It’s important to consider the particular challenges that men face and QSA wants to help more men to understand and improve their mental health.
77% of men suffer from stress, anxiety or depression at some point in their lives. Compared to women, men report lower life satisfaction. Yet men are much less likely to seek mental health support. A main reason for this concerns outdated stereotypes about men needing to be ‘strong and silent’ and take everything in their stride. It’s an impossible ideal to live up to. The resulting stress and sense of failure causes many men to experience low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
"Pressure for me to be ‘masculine’ started at a young age with my family and carried on when I went to school and then work… I was always told to ‘man up’."
To make matters worse, many men then feel a sense of shame that they are having mental health challenges in the first place. This can prevent them from seeking support from friends, family or health professionals. Many also turn to addictive substances and behaviours to block their feelings.
The end result of all this is that many men are struggling in silence. QSA wants to play its part in changing this.
Since 2012 our This Way Up life coaching and mindfulness programme has helped more than 280 people living on low a income to take greater charge of their lives and minds, to deal better with stress and anxiety, and to develop action plans for achieving their life aspirations. The programme has always attracted far more women than men (approximately 80:20). We want to change that – so that more men feel motivated and comfortable to join the programme and get the most from it.
So we’re piloting a new short course: An introduction to mindfulness and resilience for men
The course is free for anyone on a low income who identifies as a man, consisting of three 90 minute sessions on 21 September, 28 September and 5 October (11.00-12.30).
Session 1 will provide a broad introduction to tools and techniques from mindfulness and positive psychology that can really help you take better care of your mental health and wellbeing. Sessions 2 and 3 will include a recap before delving deeper into how to apply the wisdom of mindfulness-based resilience to the particular challenges facing men today. You are welcome to come to all three sessions, or just one.
The sessions will include a mix of theory and practical exercises, plus plenty of time for confidential, supportive chat in small groups as well as whole group discussion. We aim to create a safe and encouraging space where men can share openly about their experiences – just as much as they comfortable with.
The course will also give a taste of our full six-week This Way Up programme (also free), consisting of a six-session mindfulness course, and one-to-one life coaching.
If you are unsure whether this course is for you, please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org