Mental health of men and boys: Women and Equalities Committee launches new inquiry

Awareness of the mental health problems affecting men and boys has increased in recent years, and it is recognised as a serious issue:

  • According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), just over three out of four people who take their own lives are men (76%); this is the biggest cause of death for men under 35.
  • 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders (ONS).
  • Men are three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (Health and Social Care Information Centre)
  • In a survey conducted for the Men’s Mental Health Forum, 12% of men said that the last time they took time off work to see a GP was because they were “constantly feeling stressed or under pressure” and 11% because of “prolonged feelings of sadness.”

Ahead of International Men’s Day (Monday 20th November) the Women and Equalities Committee launches a new inquiry into the mental health of men and boys.

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said:

“While there are plenty of statistics out there which vividly show how serious this problem is, still too little is known about what affects mental health for men and boys, the social and economic costs, the groups of men and boys that are most at risk and, most importantly, the action needed to tackle it. At a time when the Government has committed unprecedented funding for mental health, we will be looking at Government plans and what more can be done to tackle this vast – but all too often invisible – problem.”

The Committee is inviting written submissions to the inquiry by 18 February 2019. Questions which the inquiry will focus on include:

  • What are the most pressing issues that affect men and boys’ mental health, and how are these different to the wider population?
  • What are the social and economic costs of poor mental health in men and boys?
  • What is the effect of the following on men and boys’ mental health:
    • Gender stereotyping in childhood
    • Gendered expectations around work
    • Fatherhood
    • Media portrayals of masculinity
    • Household finances
    • Relationship and family breakdown?
  • What issues other than access to healthcare affect the mental health of men and boys?
  • Which groups of men and boys are particularly at risk of poor mental health and what is leading to this?
  • What measures are needed to most effectively tackle poor mental health in men and boys and what are the barriers that prevent these being implemented?
  • How effective has Government policy been in improving mental health outcomes for men and boys?
  • How effective are the following at tackling poor mental health in men and boys:
    • NHS England
    • Public Health England
    • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
    • Local Authorities
    • Schools
    • Local support groups, faith groups, carers, friends and family