HeadsUp – MKC’s helping men to see the signs of depression and what action to take, to stay well.

Friday 18 May 2018

HeadsUp is a new local campaign that aims to prompt men to recognise the signs of depression, symptoms to look out for and what action to take to stay well.

Over the course of a year, 1 in 4 of both men and women experience some kind of mental health problem with anxiety and depression being the most common problems. Women are more likely to recognise the early warning signs and act on them - but men often don’t and this campaign aims to change that.

Research behind the development of HeadsUp found that men are more likely to seek information online or turn to a family member or partner when they are feeling low. 

Featuring straplines including “Tired of putting on an act” and “helping men stay happy”, the campaign leads to the HeadsUp website offering online ‘check ups’, a toolkit of resources, case studies from local men - and celebrities telling their stories.

There’s also a section encouraging partners and friends to ‘look out for their man’ and ‘how to keep happy’ with hints and tips on how to stay well.   There are also links to local and national support and information groups.

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing said: “Men suffer from mental health problems like anxiety and depression at similar rates to women but are more likely to leave it until crisis point before they seek help. The idea of the campaign is to approach the subject of mental health and wellbeing in men in a unique way. 

I would urge everyone in Milton Keynes to visit the HeadsUp website and take a look at what’s out there. It may help you or someone you know get access to the advice or help they need.” 

Marianne Vinson Public Health Principal, Mental Health and Workplace from Milton Keynes Council said: “National research suggests that men are less likely to seek help early, sometimes because they don’t recognise the symptoms of anxiety or depression, they are concerned about how other people may react or because they are not sure what to do. The reality is there is help available and the earlier it is sought the better the outcome.  HeadsUp includes a wealth of information from how to stay well, symptoms to look out for and for those who would like more help contact details to access effective talking therapies.

Dr Stephanie Oldroyd Clinical Director & Consultant Clinical Psychologist Mental Health Milton Keynes Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a worthwhile campaign raising awareness and support for men’s mental health. Men often don’t seek the help they need and the HeadsUp website makes information and advice accessible to all. I would urge you to take a look and share this information with any men in your life.”

More information can be found at: https://thisisheads-up.uk/

Further information

Men suffer from mental health problems at very similar rates to women. However, women in the UK are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men (29% compared to 17%)[1], and are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety (twice as likely as men[2]) and depression (1 in 4 women treated for depression, compared to 1 in 10 men).  However, gender differences in help-seeking behaviour and gender bias in diagnosis are thought to mask the true level of depression and anxiety in men.[3]

Research suggests that men tend to concur with a version of masculine self-belief that sees emotional help-seeking as an indicator of weakness. A study by Mind in 2009 found that 14% of men (35-44yrs old) would see a GP if they felt low compared to 37% of women  and that all men interviewed were half as likely as women to seek talking therapy[4].


[1] Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics, 2003

[2] Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001

[3] Gender Disparities in Mental Health, World Health Organisation, 2000

[4] Mind (2009) Men and mental health: Get it off your chest, London: Mind.