Gay Health Network (GHN) has launched new pages addressing mental health on their Man2Man website, which is aimed at gay, bi and trans men and men who have sex with men (G/B/T/MSM) and focuses broadly on sexual health. The campaign has been launched on the 15th of June to coincide with Irish AIDS Day 2021.
The new page contains sections on Mental health and Wellbeing; What to Watch Out For; Mental Health Vulnerabilities; Keys to Maintaining Good Mental Health; 8 Ways to Feel Calmer; Help and Support; and Further Reading. According to Padraig Burke, Communications Director GHN, “the pages aim to educate, inform and advise men about identifying mental health concerns and what they can do about them.”
Gay Health Network launches new Mental Health pages on https://t.co/53hu78ORMc website to coincide with #IrishAIDSDay 2021.
Press Release: https://t.co/nZNLGFOGHf
View page: https://t.co/5RsWHJdfFT for information on mental health & wellbeing & listings for support services pic.twitter.com/fg3Pb9nlRh
— Man2Man Programme (@Man2ManIreland) June 15, 2021
The importance of these resources is highlighted on the new page, where it is explained that “While LGBTQI+ people are not inherently any more prone to mental health problems than other groups in society, coping with the effects of minority stress can be detrimental to LGBTQI+ people’s mental health. Minority stress refers to the additional stress that members of marginalised groups experience because of the prejudice and discrimination they face.”
The disproportionate risks of mental ill-health facing queer men have been highlighted by the European MSM Internet Survey, in which approximately one in 10 of respondents were vulnerable to anxiety or depression. This figure rises to 16% for younger men in the 17–24-year age group. As well as this, the latest Belong To survey Life in Lockdown tells us that 97% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with anxiety, stress, or depression.
However, the new Man2Man website campaign emphasises that while there may be risk factors, this does not mean that mental wellbeing is not accessible to members of the community; “We can all experience good mental health. This is regardless of circumstances, age or gender, sexual orientation or whether we have a diagnosis of mental illness or not.” The campaign aims to promote positive mental wellbeing for G/B/T/MSM by raising awareness and increasing supports for this vulnerable group.
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