“International Men’s Day helps men open up about mental health.” The Revd Nick Bromfield

Published: Monday October 30, 2023

International Men's Day logoSunday 19 November is an opportunity for people in the UK to celebrate men and boys in all their diversity. The Revd Nick Bromfield, Team Rector of North Cheltenham, explains more about the day and how worshipping communities can get involved.

International Men’s Day (IMD) was founded as an attempt to positively set the tone of masculinity in today’s world. Some 40% of men have never spoken to anyone about their mental health, despite over three-quarters suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression, so its significance is even more important now than ever before.

Father Nick says, “I have been involved in International Men’s Day for two or three years now, having become fairly recently aware of it. I feel deeply concerned about the recent statistics on men’s mental health. There is a suicide roughly every hour and a half in this country, averaging 18 a day and around 75% of suicides on any given day are of men.

“More young men in the UK have seen material from the influencer Andrew Tate than have heard of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Most men under age 25 never watch television and, for them, ‘Tate’s videos are as mainstream as the six o’clock news’ and nearly 50% have a positive view of him. At present, there are arguably so few of this age group – young men and women – present in our pews week by week, meaning that this information has probably passed most of us by. What can be done, faced with astonishing facts like these?

“The uncertainty and confusion about men’s roles in a fast-changing society are too rarely talked about. In recent years there has been particular focus on male suicide, accounting for 3 in 4 of all suicides in the UK, and which is now recognised as the second biggest cause of death among men aged under 19.

“In my benefice in North Cheltenham, we support men in various ways with issues around suicide and mental health. Our Breakfast Celebrate service for families attracts a lot of mums and dads, and we are able to build connections with the fathers by introducing them to each other and starting socials with them, like breakfasts. The dads soon open up when they see other dads grappling with the same challenges, and they see that the Church is relevant and interested in them.

“There are lots of fantastic opportunities for worshipping communities to celebrate Britain’s men and boys by running events and activities, raising money for relevant charities, or by offering opportunities for men to get together. This year, I will be speaking about the importance of men’s mental health in my sermons in November to mark the occasion.”

For ideas on how to support International Men’s Day, visit: ukmensday.org.uk/how-to-mark-imd-in-2023


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