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Hull men are being encouraged to talk openly about their mental health at an event next month.

Are you alright mate? is a half-day workshop looking at men’s emotional health which will explore ways that we, as a society, can encourage an open conversation about men’s mental health and spread the message that it is ok for men to not be ok.

The session, which will take place at in the Kingsley Suite at Hull University on Tuesday 13 November from 9am – 12.30pm, is open to anyone with an interest in men’s mental health; from members of the public and community groups to healthcare professionals.

Dr Roper, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chair commented: “We really wanted to focus on the emotional health of men and kick start a local conversation. As men we’re less likely to realise we need help and, even if we do, we’re less likely to ask for it.”

“In the UK, around 75% of suicides are by men. It’s clear that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Roughly 1 in 10 men[i] in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. However, only 36% of all referrals to treatment are men, meaning they are less likely to access psychological support and therapy.[ii]

Dr Roper continued: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to reduce the stigma around mental health and share the message that it is okay for men to say when they’re not okay. We want to encourage local men to be able to turn to their friends, relatives and our support services for help.”

“If you’re worried about a friend or family member you can play an important part too by asking that simple question: Are you alright mate?”

The event, which has been organised by NHS Hull CCG, will bring together a range of professional services alongside thought provoking local and national speakers.

A keynote speech will be given by Geoff McDonald. Geoff has 25 years of experience working for global company Unilever, and tells a fascinating and powerful story about an episode in his own life which has caused him to become a very active campaigner breaking the stigma associated with Mental Health.

Dawn Barnes, operational manager for City Health Care Partnership CIC’s Let’s Talk service, is keen to get more men talking about their mental health. “The more people talk about it, the less stigma is attached to not being all right, helping others to come forward to get help. Are you alright mate? is a great step forward in addressing mental health in men. And if you are ready to get help, Let’s Talk offer a wide range of services for people in Hull and it’s really easy to book an appointment. Just ring 01482 247111 or text TALK to 61825 and we’ll take it from there.”

Tom Beckett & Lorna Mckinley, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners with Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, added: “In the Emotional Wellbeing Service we understand that it can be difficult for men to talk about their thoughts and feelings, this can lead to them feeling isolated which impacts on their ability to live a happy, well-balanced and fulfilled life. The Emotional Wellbeing Service is dedicated to increase awareness of men’s mental health and support men to access the help they may require.”

On the day there will also be chance to visit a range of stalls from services and community groups connected to men’s emotional wellbeing.

To book a ticket and for more information visit: here

[i] 12.5%

[ii] This figure was recorded in the first 3 months of 2015 and was published in the NHS report – Improving access to psychological therapies

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