COLUMN: Men, it’s time to get talking about your mental health

This column is provided by Steven Birch from steps2change at the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundations NHS Trust.
Steven Birch from steps2change.Steven Birch from steps2change.
Steven Birch from steps2change.

November is Men’s Health Awareness Month and at Lincolnshire’s NHS mental health, learning disability and autism trust, we are working hard to spread awareness of our services and support men who are struggling.

Whilst one in four of us will experience a common mental health problem at some point in our lives, three times as many women as men were referred to our steps2change service in 2022. Despite this, three times as many men take their own lives than women nationally.

Steps2change provides free NHS talking therapy services in the county and offers a specialist service which supports people with long-term health conditions who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

We provide the opportunity to talk about your difficulties in a confidential and non-judgemental environment and create an individually tailored treatment package.

In January 2023, we will be also launching our prostate cancer pathway, which will provide even more specialist support for those experiencing the condition.

In our experience, men are often less willing to talk about how they are feeling. They often worry about how they will be perceived by others or not want to worry their friends and family. Men are also more likely to deny or accept their feelings and hope they go away, instead of seeking the support which is available.

One service user told us about the stereotypes which prevented him from accessing support in the past. He said: “I was hesitant to refer myself because I have never opened up about my feelings. I was brought up to believe that men are strong and should just get on with things.”

We want to challenge this stigma and encourage men to come forward for support.

It takes guts to talk about how you feel. We are here to listen and support you. Please make the time to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing this winter.

It couldn’t be easier to refer yourself using our chatbot or online form at You can also call 0303 123 4000 or be referred by any health professional, including your GP.

You can also get practical tips on how to boost your wellbeing this winter via

Related topics: