Time to Change are encouraging us to 'Ask Twice' if we suspect a friend is suffering.
New research has found three quarters of men in Yorkshire aren’t willing to open up to friends about their mental health.
The study, from mental health movement Time to Change, suggests one of the main reasons for this is for fear of being a burden to their friends (41%).
Furthermore, despite two thirds (64%) of men classing themselves as good communicators, over a quarter (26%) of men have had less than two heart to hearts with a male friend in the last year.
Two fifths (39%) feel they would miss the signs that their friend needs to open up.
The study of 3,000 men in Britain, commissioned by Time to Change, highlights the barriers men still face when speaking openly about mental health.
Time to Change is urging people to ‘Ask Twice’ if they suspect a friend, family member, or colleague might be struggling with their mental health.
The campaign acknowledges that when we ask how our friends are doing, the usual response is ‘Fine thanks’. The simple act of asking again – ‘Are you sure you’re ok?’ – shows a genuine willingness to talk and listen.
Yorkshireman Paul Brook, who’s previously suffered from depression and stress, has been calling for more men in our region to open up.
“I think for friends who are supporting someone with their mental health, you can’t assume that a person is fine just because they say they are.”
“It’s easier sometimes just to say you feel fine, and not to have to think about it.
“I can be feeling terrible but I carry on as normal, I go to work and do my job and no one would know, so it is hard to spot.
“I think some of the signs might be that someone is more withdrawn - they might seem a bit more agitated or distant.
“Once you’ve let the cat out of the bag – if I can use that phrase – it’s like weight off your shoulders and you can start to find out what support there is.”