Over 1,300 young men in England take their own life each year. It is now the commonest cause of death in young men under 35. The national suicide prevention strategy for England therefore identified young men as one of its key target groups.
A review of the available research highlighted very little evidence on effective approaches to health promotion in young men. We needed to know more about why men find it difficult to talk about their problems, why they are more resistant than the general population to health promotion messages, and why they are reluctant to seek help when in distress. That is why the National Institute for Mental in England funded three pilot projects to encourage young men to seek help earlier, develop or encourage emotional literacy amongst young men and to identify barriers that may discourage young men from seeking help.
Each pilot project, in developing and delivering a mental health promotion programme, identified some common themes and issues but they have addressed these in different ways. This report outlines the structure and aims of the three pilot projects, the components of the projects and the evidence of effectiveness of the measures adopted, and sets out key lessons and policy implications for the future.