Call to support more young men talking during Men’s Mental Health Month

Cllr Lilley says Ryde has the highest number of suicide attempts on the Island and needs to get young men to start this month to chat

Unhappy teenager

Cllr Michael Lilley shares this latest news and details of upcoming events. Ed


One in three men experience suicidal thoughts through stressful situations. Suicide is the biggest killer in men under 45.

However, even those statistics could be underestimated, as men are less likely to report mental health illnesses or get a diagnosis.

Men are four times less likely to seek help than women and four times more likely to commit suicide or enter acute services than women.

Highest risk to suicide
On the Isle of Wight, men are clearly the highest risk to suicide and this issue has been known for many years, but the IW Council’s Public Health Strategy still fails to support interventions and policies that focus on this target group.

Isle of Wight Age UK has for the past five years developed and supported the Men in Sheds movement for older men, without recognition and support from IWC Public Health, although they have statutory responsibility for suicide prevention.

Urgent need to focus on younger men
However, there is an urgent need for a focus on younger men. This is a key priority for IW Youth Trust which I am a trustee. 

As Mayor of Ryde, I am focusing my charity appeal in my year of office on the emotional well-being of young people in Ryde. In November, I am focusing in particular on the emotional well-being of young men to coincide with Men’s Mental Health Month.

80% of adults in long-term acute mental health services were identified as needing support as children but failed to get the support needed. We have to support people of all ages in need but if we focus on the young we will prevent and reduce the misery of severe mental health problems in the future.

Fundraising events
On Friday 22nd November at Ryde Castle, I am hosting an event as part of Men’s Mental Health Month with all monies raised going to Ryde Network (Ryde Town Council’s Youth Service) and IW Youth Trust, to support young men’s emotional well-being projects in the Town.

There will be a special showing of the iconic film, the Italian Job, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. I will introduce the film and talk about my own struggle with depression and how seeing this film in Ryde in 1970 had a huge impact on me as a young man.

Mo Martin, the sister of the late writer and creator of the film will talk about her memories of her brother making the film.

Highest number of suicide attempts
Ryde has the highest number of suicide attempts on the Island and as a Town we need to own this issue and start to get talking and more importantly get men and especially young men to start this month to chat.

We have to blow the doors off the issue!

On the Saturday 16th November at Monkton Arts Café, my son, Ben, and I are going to present a comedy night about father and sons (Mayor and son’s big night out) and talk about the importance of humour in fighting our own demons.

The support is appreciated
Clare Cannock (Youth Trust CEO) states,

“We would like to thank the Mayor of Ryde for his support of the Youth Trust. We are delighted to see his efforts championing the mental health of young people in Ryde.”

Stand with me for Men’s Mental Health Month
Please stand with me in the Month of November to raise awareness of Men’s Mental Health Month and support me to fight for stronger recognition of this issue on the Isle of Wight.

Let’s get talking and save lives.

By supporting the Mental Health Foundation led-campaign and buying tickets for and promoting the above events, you are helping to raise awareness that will simply help others.

For more information about Men’s Mental Health Month, see the Website.

Image: conovosisters under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 5th November, 2019 11:13am

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Filed under: East Wight, Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Top story

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