Break the Silence: Top Tips on Being a Mindful Mate

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Statistically men are less likely to ask for mental health support when they need it.

Banter and phrases like ‘man up’ can create barriers, preventing men from seeking support.

Sometimes people need help, and men – just like women – want to be able to help friends in need.

So, as it’s Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s an opportunity to share some tips for helping friends to overcome challenges, by being a mindful mate.

8 Tips for Being a ‘Mindful Mate’

1. Lend an ear: Sometimes, a mate just needs someone to hear them out. Give your full attention, avoid interruption, don’t give advice, just actively listen.

2. Offer a shoulder: Be the friend who’s there in tough times, someone to lean on: “Talk me through it mate, let me help you navigate this”.

3. Skip the judgement: Everyone has ups and downs. Don’t judge. Create a safe space for open conversations: “Can we talk about what’s on your mind?”.

4. Be practical: Show you’re there, even with any practical help, it could be as simple as an errand, just to lighten the load.

5. Respect and availability: Encourage honesty but always respect their privacy too. Ask when they would like to talk and tell them that you are always just a call away!

6. Creative expression: There are many ways for someone to let-off some pressure. If not talking, perhaps encourage writing, art, music or exercise.

7. Read up: Build your knowledge of mental health. Understanding symptoms, coping strategies and local resources could help you to signpost help.

8. Check in: Don’t wait for them to reach out; make it a habit to check in and ask twice: “You sure you’re ok, mate?”

To learn more about being a ‘mindful mate’, join Restore next Friday, 10th November, at Didcot Town FC, for a free one hour event – just reserve a space.

Restore and guests will share bitesize information and practical tools for supporting men’s mental health.
Reserve Free Now

There remains too much stigma around mental health, and especially men’s mental health, but together we can break the silence and support better mental health in Oxfordshire.