Would you ask for help?

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week – a time to challenge stigma and stereotypes around mental health and well-being.

Mental Health and well-being is an area that many find difficult to discuss and explore, with stigma still being a factor in people opening up about their own mental health or being able to offer support to those they know in need. 

Although this is an issue throughout society, statistically more women and girls seem to be accessing services and support.  This could suggest that this is because a higher level of women and girls are facing mental health challenges – with numbers around self-harm and eating disorders particularly high during the pandemic, it could also be a reflection of the fact that males are more reluctant to access mental health support. 

Everyday, 18 people in the UK lose their lives to suicide. It is currently the biggest cause of death amongst the under 49s, with men accounting for 75% of these rates.  We want to help change this.

We know that younger men remain a consistently hard to reach group. 

Contributing factors to this could include perceived notions of (toxic) masculinity – gender stereotypes, ideas of being strong and not showing weakness, not talking about feelings or emotions, language and phrases still commonly used such as ‘man up,’ softy’ and ‘ real men don’t cry’, all of which remain difficult barriers to overcome.

Other factors could include access to information, methods of accessing support (ie talking therapies, over the phone which may be a barrier to some). 

As part of our campaign this year we will be raising awareness around suicide and encouraging everyone to ask to help.

Working with our learners we will be creating ‘Inclusion Lifesavers’ – small purple model life buoys which will have a message of support attached as well as details of suicide and mental health support lines.

As the national theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is getting outdoors and nature, we’ll be making sure our lifesavers can be found in  parks, sports grounds and outside spaces as well as community areas and with local businesses – anywhere where they could be found and offer a life-line to someone in need.

Our learners will be exploring these issues, sharing resources, information and support links. We’ve also included lots of info on our webpage below to support this.

Please be aware, some of the videos and information we have shared could be upsetting to watch and read so please do speak to a safe adult or your support system if you are affected by any of the issues.



Video from Men's Health highlighting male suicide

Watch now

If you need support now, please ask for help...

Young Minds: Text YM to 85258

Papyrus: 0800 068 4141

CALM: 0800 58 58 58

Samaritans: 116123

Shout: Text 85258


Helpful Reads

We’ asked staff, family and friends for recommendations of books they have read that have been really helpful for mental health and well-being. Take a look at some of them below.


It's ok to...

We know that sometimes toxic ideas of masculinity can create barriers for men in particular accessing services and support.

As part of our Inclusion Lifesaver campaign we’re also sharing our thoughts on this – telling people ‘ Its ok to……’

It’s ok to cry

It’s ok to ask for help

It’s ok to feel sad

Our learners are adding their own ideas – so please do let us know what you would include.

Take a look at some amazing ideas from our learners 


Watch Roman Kemp documentary: Our Silent Emergency

Watch now

Suicide and Me - Professor Green explores Male Suicide

Watch Now

Take a look at extract from Matt Haig

read now