When it comes to measures of physical health, men underperform women in pretty much every area you care to name: we are more likely to smoke, more likely to drink too much, we will eat less healthily – and as a result, we’re more likely to die earlier.
While glossy lifestyle mags like Men’s Health have encouraged a generation of men to pay at least some attention to their physical health there’s been less of a focus on how men can better look after their mental health. Men don’t like to talk about their feelings or ask for help, and this ultimately plays out in the male suicide stats.
This Book Could Help – The Men’s Head Space Manual sets out to address this problem. The author, Rotimi Akinsete, notes the messages that men absorb from a young age: be tough; be self-reliant; man-up. It’s not surprising, he says, that men struggle to be themselves when this is what they are faced with.
The book is subtitled as “Techniques and Exercises for Living” and this is pretty much what you get. Akinsete is an experienced psychotherapist but he keeps the theory light and focusses instead on a series of key practical questions, reflections and activities, with lists and prompts to help the reader think things through from their perspective. What’s important to you? What do you value? What do you make time for?
This is an accessible introduction to a subject where lately there’s been growing interest but not too much change in evidence – this book may indeed help.
Stephen, Head of Information at Mind