Our national survey of over 2,000 people highlighted that asking ‘How are you?’ can often prompt no more than a meaningless exchange. To tackle this, Time to Change is urging people to Ask Twice if they suspect a friend, family member, or colleague might be struggling with their mental health. The simple act of asking again, with interest, shows a genuine willingness to talk and listen.
Read our press release marking the launch of the campaign.
About the campaign
While there has been a positive step change in the way mental health is viewed and talked about in England, with 4.1 million people having improved attitudes, our research shows a persistent gap between the attitudes of men and women, with men consistently showing less favourable attitudes.
We carried out research into men’s and young people's attitudes towards mental health over the course of a year, which included feedback from 18 focus groups across the country.
This new insight revealed a number of barriers preventing men in particular from opening up to the topic of mental health. Compared to women, men are:
Less knowledgeable about mental health, with more negative attitudes
Far less likely to report their own experiences of mental health problems and less likely to discuss mental health problems with a professional
More likely to say that mental health problems are the result of a ‘lack of self-discipline and willpower’
Three times more likely to take their own lives than women with suicide being the leading cause of death in men under 45.
And in the case of young people, our research found that whilst awareness of mental health issues is improving, understanding is still poor in the 11-18 age group.