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Men's Health

If you are going through divorce / contact problems you will need to look after yourself if you are to be of any use to your children in the future:

Men’s health is a neglected area by society and men at present, men are most at risk for many illnesses and societal problems from boyhood onwards. For a man/ father the risks are very great. If you are to survive in order to achieve a just outcome through the divorce courts then you will need to take great care of yourself from the outset.

We can offer legal help and advice but you will need to be able to work with us as you know the true facts of the dilemma you face. You will need to be strong and resilient. Whilst we sympathise with your predicament, we are aware that employment of Government solicitors will either eat into your funds with an extended series of hearings often leading no-where whilst legal aid is often difficult to achieve and does not pay the solicitors sufficiently to do justice to your situation.

We advise a calm approach from the outset, worry does not get you anywhere and may increase your stress levels affecting your ability to work and to prepare your case. We recommend that you read the facts related to men’s health below from MIND and also read the healthy tips on this link.

Try these links for more tips and information:
Factsheets from www.mind.org.uk

• 75 per cent of suicides in the UK are by men.
• Older men have the highest suicide rate in the UK.
• Young men have the fastest rising suicide rate in the UK.
• Studies suggest that depression occurs as often in men as in women.
• Doctors are less likely to diagnose men with depression than women.
• Physical illness is a major contributory factor in men developing mental distress.
• Men are less likely to seek medical attention than women.
• Unemployment is a major cause of depression and suicide in men.
• One in seven men who become unemployed will develop depression within six months.
• Men are more likely than women to experience long-term unemployment.
• 50 per cent of victims of domestic violence are men.
• Men make up 96 per cent of the UK prison population.
• Men are more likely to be given custodial sentences than women for the same offence.
• 58 per cent of remand prisoners have been assessed as having mental health problems.
• 39 per cent of sentenced prisoners have been assessed as having mental health problems.
• Alcohol and substance abuse is five times more common in men than in women.
• Men tend to have an earlier onset of schizophrenia and a poorer prognosis than women.

The social context of men’s mental distress

Men appear to be more vulnerable to mental health problems and to suicide than ever before. This is probably due to a combination of social and other factors.

Many men have been brought up not to talk about their problems or express their feelings. To admit to having pain or some other problem is seen as a confession of weakness. One effect of this conditioning is that men are reluctant to ask for help for their emotional problems.

We know that men are less likely than women to go to their GP with psychological problems; if they do go to their GP they are more likely to present with physical problems which may not be recognised as a manifestation of mental distress. The male denial factor appears to be unrelated to occupation, age, race or socio-economic status.

Men’s fear of talking about their problems can also mean they avoid conflict and difficult discussions, resulting in communication breakdowns and relationship problems.

At the same time, men are facing a series of social pressures. Men have been affected more severely than women by the shrinkage of heavy industry and traditional manufacturing jobs. Young men and boys are doing less well than girls at school and in further education. The breakdown of traditional gender roles and the concept of the ‘new man’ have left many men feeling uncertain of what is expected of them, particularly in terms of significant relationships.

Men, particularly those with mental distress, are also more likely to be in the criminal justice system.

Research suggests that married men are less likely to commit suicide, and that half of the increase in young male suicide may be due to the fact that less young men are married. Men who are divorced, separated or widowed, unemployed or shy are the most likely to commit suicide.

Most divorces and separations are initiated by women, and in the vast majority of cases, the man did not want their family to split up. Men are, in over 70 per cent of cases divorced by their wives against their wishes. Also, when a relationship breaks down, men may lose touch with their children as well as their partner, and may have to find a new home.

The same study found that if a man takes the step of marrying and has children: he has a 50:50 chance of divorcing and losing custody of his children. He has a one in three chance of losing his home, and a one in ten chance of losing contact with his children forever. UK courts award custody of children to mothers in 91 per cent of cases.
The breakdown of families also has an impact on the lives of young boys. Delegates at a seminar organised by the Home Office (1999) heard how boys who had no contact with their fathers were more likely to be violent, get hurt, get into trouble and do less well at school.
A recent study confirmed that there is a significant link between the level of involvement by fathers and a boy being in trouble with the police. The study found that 35 per cent of boys with little or no involvement with their father had offended, compared to 18 per cent of boys with a highly involved father. Highly involved fathers emerged as a major factor in boys’ general wellbeing. A caring, emotionally supportive father seems to protect boys against depression or suicidal thoughts.

Remember you need to help yourself at this critical stage so that you may help your children, they NEED YOU as much as you need them.

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