For International Men’s Day, mental health first aider, Kourtney encourages more men to build better social connections to increase their mental well-being.
What is International Men’s Day?
‘Making a positive difference to the well-being and lives of men and boys’ is the theme for International Men’s Day (IMD) 2022. IMD falls on Saturday 19th November and the aim of the day is to raise awareness towards men’s issues such as mental health, the high male suicide rate, and the ways we can make a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys.
International Men’s Day started in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999, it was created by Dr Jerome Tuluck Singh to commemorate his father’s birthday. Fast forward 22 years and it is now celebrated in over 80 countries with the aim of highlighting:
- the social issues faced by men both mentally and physically
- men as positive agents of change in society; role modelling inclusive behaviours
- seeing the different identities of men through the lens of intersectionality
In the UK, studies show that suicide is still one of the biggest causes of death in men and 78% of suicides in 2022 were committed by men. It is also found that 1 in 2 men will have a mental health disorder in their lifetime, so that’s why we think it’s imperative to talk about these issues and look at what can be done to improve our mental health.
Research shows that close friendships and social connections can promote good health. Our International Men’s Day 2022 theme aims to highlight how the role of friendship, connection and inclusivity can have a huge impact in helping men live longer, better, healthier lives.
The theme this year aims to encourage more men to build better social connections and #MakeTime4Mates, with the goal to make a positive difference in the well-being and lives of men & boys. We can do small things to achieve this by:
- Make time to ask someone about their day
- Reach out to people that you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Check-in with your friends and see how they’re doing
- Start a conversation with someone you don’t normally speak to
Sometimes the happiest people on the outside are the ones that are struggling the most on the inside. Just by taking a little bit of time out of your day to strike up a conversation can make the world of a difference to that person.
Studies have found that loneliness kills. It increases the risk of death more than poor diet, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and obesity.
So, try to make a conscious effort to talk to people in your life more as you will be surprised how much it will benefit both you and the person in feeling more inclusive and connected. This can do wonders for your mental health.