More than 5,000 men in the UK and Ireland committed suicide last year, accounting for 74% of all suicides. Despite this, men are half as likely to seek mental health support, as 14 men commit suicide every day.
It comes after the charity revealed that 85% of men do not usually discuss their feelings with other male friends in pubs and bars, despite these being selected as their favorite hangouts.
HUMEN Founder River Hawkins said, “We all need friendly spaces to talk, listen and connect. Ads are the lifeblood of communities, but as our research tells us, they’re currently wasted on men – who apparently would rather talk about something other than their personal trials and tribulations.
“We truly believe that this type of gathering place can play a significant role in the fight against suicide and mental health, if we harness it for good, rather than the traditional ‘drink and forget’ mentality that plagues people. male social circles.
“This is what our partnership with Heineken aims to achieve next December. This is the second year of our Rise Against Suicide and we plan to rise every year for years to come. Talking openly to friends, family and professionals is an essential step in overcoming hidden issues and obstacles in our quest to reduce the number of suicides and, therefore, reduce the number of meters we will run next year.
HUMEN’s research found that, on average, men go to the pub twice a week, spending around two hours there each time.
Three in 10 men (29%) will meet their friends in a bar or pub after a stressful day. During these encounters, 63% will discuss sports and 54% will share jokes together, but only 15% will discuss each other’s feelings.
More than a third (37%) said they ‘didn’t want to bring the mood down’ and half (48%) admitted to not knowing how to help a friend, even if they openly expressed their feelings in such a scenario. Additionally, one in 10 (13%) admitted that they would be uncomfortable and dislike these situations if they arose.
It’s time to talk
However, the majority (78%) agreed that men should talk to each other more about personal matters. Although 72% felt they had a good support network of family and friends, 23% felt they couldn’t share their deepest thoughts with them.
Moreover, one in 20 men feel they have no one to talk to.
Star, Pubs & Bars, Managing Director of Heineken UK, Lawson Mountstevens, said: “Pubs are a vital part of communities across the UK, providing warm and welcoming environments for men to come together.
“As the men already feel at home, it’s the ideal place to share their emotions over a beer or a soft drink. As a company, we advocate for mental health with our colleagues, licensees and their teams and therefore fully support this important initiative.
Participants in the ‘Pub Pilgrimage’ will be encouraged to start with a group walk. When finished, they will return to their local pub and be encouraged to donate the cost of a typical tour and support the work of HUMEN through its mental health pub menu.
Pubs in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Nottingham, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton are involved in the initiative.