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MHF Relate TryToSee

MHF Relate TryToSee

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Published by Men's Health Forum

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Published by: Men's Health Forum on Feb 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Try To seeiT my way
ipvng ltnhpuppt  n
By David Wilkins, Men’s Health Forum
The evidence suggests that men are usually not as good as women at looking aer their own physicalhealth and mental wellbeing and are less likely to seek help when they have health problems. And,it seems the same applies to men seeking help with their relationships. We know that positive andstable amily relationships are vital to the wellbeing o both men and women and their children, butmen are oen more reluctant than women to seek out help when relationship diculties occur. Itis important that we understand how best to engage with and support men i we are to eectivelysupport couples and amilies when relationships run into diculties.This signicant report begins to identiy some o the key issues we need to think about i we are toprovide constructive support to men. It is not surprising to learn in this report that there may well be broad dierences between men and women in the way they perceive relationship problems; theway they deal with relationship issues; their expectations o relationship support services; and theway they engage with relationship support counsellors. The question is whether these dierencesare accommodated as well as they might be in the design and delivery o support services.An armative relationship is one o the keys to good mental health or both men and women and,as this report points out, people in settled relationships tend to enjoy better physical health too;as caring or each other’s wellbeing is one o the oundation stones o a good relationship, it is notsurprising that this is the case. We have made great strides in recent years in understanding how better to improve men’s health, and we have begun to see some o that understandingtranslated into policy and practice. I hopethis report marks the beginning o a debateabout how we can best incorporate a maleperspective into policy aimed at supportingamily relationships. This can only be benecial or both adults and children and orsociety as a whole.
Proessor, Lord Patel o Bradord OBE
 Chair, All Party Parliamentary Groupon Men’s Health
Try To see iT my way
ipvng ltnhpuppt  n
I welcome this thought provoking report, and I’d like to extend my thanks to David Wilkins and theMen’s Health Forum. This report orms part o Relate’s wider campaign, which has been runningsince early 2013, and which ocuses on men and their relationships.Relate’s exists to champion the importance o strong, healthy relationships as the basis o a thrivingsociety, and we know that stable, good quality relationships are central to our wellbeing. To do thiseectively, we want to broaden our reach, and this report will help us to do this, by highlighting someo the areas where more specic research and careul tailoring o services are required. One millionpeople already access inormation, education and counselling rom Relate, but we know that morepeople could benet rom our services. The costs o ignoring this speak or themselves. Relationship breakdown and its wider ramications cost the UK economy £44 billion last year, according tothe Relationships Foundation. This is a cost that we cannot aord to bear now and into the uture.Alongside this nancial cost, we know that there is a signicant social cost resulting rom relationship breakdown, which impacts the lives o individuals, amilies and communities.The evidence and analysis presentedin this report provides a unique insightinto the experiences o men in seekinghelp or their health and relationships.We know that men experience poorerhealth outcomes compared withwomen. We also know that men areunderrepresented in counsellingservices generally and more specicallyin relationship support services. Inact, men are less likely to seek help interms o health more generally, romphysical health to emotional wellbeingand mental health. We know rom ourown experience at Relate that 44% oour clients are men but anecdotally weknow that they are more likely to exitearlier rom the counselling process.This is not a matter or men to solve on their own. The relationship support sector and Governmentneeds to work collaboratively with clients, employers and health proessionals, such as GPs, toaddress these issues, to understand the drivers behind them, and to innovate and improve serviceprovision accordingly. This culture change is central to normalising relationship support andmaking it easier, more acceptable and more eective or men to access support services or theirrelationships when they need to.
Ruth Sutherland
 Chie Executive, Relate
Executive Summary 51. Introduction 92. About this report 113. Male helpseeking, what are the problems? 134. Do men and women deal with emotional distress dierently? 195. What we know about men and their relationship support needs 226. The views o Relate counsellors about men’s relationship support needs 327. Conclusion 408. Recommendations 42Acknowledgments 43Appendix 43About the partner organisations 47About the author 48

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