More than four in ten men say that the lockdown and restrictions introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, research shows.
Loneliness, isolation, anxiety, financial worries and separation from loved ones are all causing problems, the Samaritans said.
The charity’s poll of men aged 18-59 shows that over half say they are feeling worried or anxious as restrictions continued to ease and are concerned about the future.
Samaritans Executive Director of External Affairs Paul McDonald said the pandemic has brought unexpected change and uncertainty, which will have “a lasting impact on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing”.
He said: “At Samaritans we know that less well off, middle-aged men have remained the highest risk group for suicide in the UK for decades and that the restrictions put in place during lockdown such as isolation and disconnection will have exacerbated problems for these men.”
The charity is running a campaign called Real People, Real Stories over the next six weeks which aims to reach men aged 18-59 years and above who are “feeling low and struggling to cope”.
Men who have found life tough, experienced depression or suicidal thoughts have written words of support to other men and these will feature in films, shared across social media, radio, buses and TV.