Delivering male is a really important collection of research which shall be vital for our project. This is Mind’s report on delivering effective practice in male mental health care.
The report worked with a number of focus groups and leading professionals and it provides a lot of useful statistics on gendered health care and shall be useful in demonstrating that certain aspects of masculinity may be used in order to help men expressing their emotions.
It emphasises that socialisation and public perceptions of men do have a negative impact upon Men’s ability to express their emotions and access health care services to get help. The following quotes are very useful to demonstrate this.
- Men have been classed as workhorses and if you’re a sick workhorse the last thing you want to do is complain about it. (Dorset Mind)
- Women are a bit more understanding, they speak to each other about these things. The guy won’t sit down and talk about how they’re feeling. (Nottingham group)
- Men are brought up completely differently from girls. If you fall over and you’re a boy you’re told to get up, “it’s only a scratch, get on with it”…that’s gone all the way through my life, there can’t be anything wrong with me because I’m a bloke, I’m being a big baby. It’s very difficult. I get so angry because I was taught not to show any emotion and so I direct the anger at myself’. (Carrick Mind)
Further it included useful quotes from young participants from African-Caribbean backgrounds
- It’s a survival of the fittest thing because the environment has certain standards and certain ways of living up to that. Everyone wants to get to a certain place. (African-Caribbean 18-25)
- Keep it locked up – if you tell one guy and you think you can trust him, he’ll probably go and tell another mate and he’ll tell everyone. (Pakistani 18-25)
The report discusses findings from Untold who that “there are often significant tensions between conventional masculine behaviour and the idea of nurturing good mental health…some of the accepted cultural markers of masculinity – for example (and among others): the willingness to “soldier on” when under emotional stress; the consumption of large amounts of alcohol; the greater propensity to physical aggression; the greater tendency of boys to misbehave in school – are also potential symptoms of, or predisposing factors for, poor mental health. Many of these behaviours are so familiar that they seem indisputably “normal” even though it is easy to see that they are sometimes simultaneously damaging.”
The report provided a number of useful case studies of projects which are using a gendered approach to dealing with male mental health. These case studies demonstrate that certain aspects of masculinity may be used in productive manners to help men express their emotions and get help from health services.
MAC- Music and change- works with young men in their own environment and gives them a strong stake in the development and implementation of projects. Giving them a sense of pride in their projects whilst giving them access to one to one therapy sessions
Boxercise in cryodn –Targeting men’s desire to involve themselves in exercise to give them a sense of self-worth, to bond with other men, and have a space to talk about their emotions
The report stressed the importance of physical health activity schemes particularly getting men involved in group exercise and and in order to increase socialising amongst men
This research and these case studies will be vital for our argument.