*Trigger warning: mental health and suicide
Unless you’re a fan of the comedian and writer Richard Herring, you may not have given much thought to International Men’s Day. For almost a decade Herring has raised huge sums of money for the domestic violence charity Refuge by spending International Women's Day (8 March) answering each person who asks on Twitter 'But when is International Men's Day?' He then follows up the enquiries on International Men’s Day (19 November) to raise money for CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.
It’s genuinely today. What are you going to be doing? Would you say the problem is that men are only interested in IMD when they think there isn’t one, but don’t want to do anything when it comes around? Genuine question. https://t.co/nAzbGtqBNE— Richard K Herring (@Herring1967) November 19, 2019
We don’t yet know what long-term impact the lockdowns will have on mental health and wellbeing, but early reports suggest an increase in suicide. Globally, men were almost twice as likely to die by suicide as women were before the pandemic.(4) Harmful masculine norms – in other words, what it means to be a man – are a key driver of suicidal tendencies and encourage risk-taking behaviours like drinking and smoking. These norms often stop men from seeking medical help and have a knock-on effect on women’s lives, placing increased responsibilities on them to care for men’s wellbeing.(5) They also affect women in other ways, for example, there have been reports of a dramatic increase in domestic violence during the pandemic.
Today is #InternationalMensDay, checking in on a mate only takes a few seconds, just a text, or a stupid tweet, or a quick call can make all the difference to a mate who may be going through a hard time. So give it a go! For more information there's Alan... pic.twitter.com/Vcnuxt2j71— Dave (@davechannel) November 19, 2019
|To infinity... and beyond!|
1. Burki T (2020). The indirect impact of COVID-19 on women. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 20(8): 904-905.
2. Williamson EJ, Walker AJ, Bhaskaran K et al (2020). Factors associated with COVID-19-related death using OpenSAFELY. Nature, 584: 430–436.
3. Bambra C, Munford L et al (2020). COVID-19 and the Northern Powerhouse, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Northern Health Science Alliance. https://www.thenhsa.co.uk/app/uploads/2020/11/NP-COVID-REPORT-101120-.pdf.
4. Dearden L (2020). Coronavirus: Mental health incidents rising during UK lockdown, police say. The Independent, 6 April 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-suicide-rates-ukmental-health-support-a9451086.html.
4. WHO (2014). Preventing suicide: A global imperative. Geneva: World Health Organization.
5. Marcos-Marcos J, Mateos JT, Gasch-Gallén À, Álvarez-Dardet C (2019). Men’s health across the life course: A gender relational (critical) overview. Journal of Gender Studies, epub ahead of print 18 December 2019.
6. Witty K, White A (2011) Tackling men's health: Implementation of a male health service in a rugby stadium setting. Community Practitioner, 84(4): 29-32.
7. Gray CM, Wyke S, Zhang R, et al. (2018) Long-term weight loss following a randomised controlled trial of a weight management programme for men delivered through professional football clubs: The Football Fans in Training follow-up study. Public Health Research, 6(9): 1-14.