Charities Team Up to Combat Men’s Mental Health Crisis

Charities Team Up to Combat Men’s Mental Health Crisis
Human Appeal and Breaking The Silence are working together to tackle men’s mental health issues, especially among ethnic minority communities

The pandemic has affected us all. People have gone months and maybe even over a year without seeing friends and family, and with lockdown measures in place, many of us have rarely left our homes. It’s no surprise that this has got us all thinking about mental health, but for communities and demographics that have historically been left behind when it comes to these issues, it’s another layer to the challenge of how to get people talking.In the UK, conditions such as depression are known to be higher among Black and Asian communities, but barriers in the mental health care system and the fact that mental health can be more of a taboo in their communities means that Black and Asian men have a much lower rate of coming forward to get help.

Manchester-based humanitarian charity Human Appeal has been working throughout the UK during the pandemic, delivering over 4,500 hot meals for NHS staff, over 5,000 food parcels, 30,000 bottles of hand sanitiser and nearly 70,000 bottle of orange juice across the country. During this time, the charity picked up on the bubbling mental health crisis among men in ethnic minority communities, which has led to them partnering with Bradford-based Breaking The Silence.Breaking The Silence was founded in 2012 by psychotherapist Imran Manzoor, in response to a clear rise in mental health disclosures from South Asian boys and young men. What started as an experimental grant from Comic Relief has grown to support over 600 men and boys from across the UK, through one-to-one counselling and group therapy programmes. The organisation also offers training to other mental health services that want to further their understanding of mental health issues in ethnic minority communities.

Imran said:
“Men from ethnic minority communities come to the attention of professional mental health services on average 13 years later, and in a more severely ill state than their white counterparts.Whilst the masculine maxim of ‘strength in silence’ plays an important role in their reluctance to get help, it is also the cultural-specific beliefs about the causes of mental health that impacts how they experience these issues and their disposition to disclose. They fear being ridiculed. Our service makes clear that we are aware of and understand these beliefs, and that we can help despite them.“We work with whatever issues any individual presents us with, and within whatever parameters make them feel comfortable. By working collaboratively, we provide them with the support they need and where necessary, we can get them specialist support too.”

Abid Shah, Human Appeal’s UK Programmes Manager said:
“One of the biggest problems that has arisen as a result of the pandemic is the rise in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues across the UK. We are making a conscious effort to address this problem, specifically amongst men because their mental health is often neglected and brushed under the carpet.“

Many of these men we’re working with are already facing the consequences of emotional and physical abuse at a young age, but their anxieties have worsened during the lockdown due to the lack of social interaction with colleagues, friends and family. By working with Breaking The Silence, we at Human Appeal can make a real difference to their lives.”To find out more about Human Appeal’s work, visit

For more information about Breaking The Silence, visit

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Notes to Editors
Human Appeal and Breaking the Silence spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.
For this or any other enquiries, please contact Nazira on 07946381453 or email

Human Appeal is a humanitarian relief charity, established in a flat in Manchester in 1991 and now active in 24 countries. We carry out emergency relief campaigns in response to man-made and natural disasters, as well as long-term sustainable development projects designed to lift people out of poverty and create resilient communities.

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