Libraries look at men’s mental health for Men’s Health Week

Somerset Libraries and Public Health have partnered up to help improve men’s mental health in Somerset as part of Men’s Health Week (11-17 June).

The Men’s Wellbeing Collection is an innovative collection of books and resources that aims to get more men thinking and talking about their mental health.

The collection is currently in Yeovil, Taunton Frome and Bridgwater Libraries and will be moving to others in the network later in the year and into 2019, visiting 12 in total.

The titles in the collection were chosen with the help of the Somerset Boys and Men’s Health Network, and all have been picked because they explore mental health in an easy and accessible way.

Topics include depression, masculinity and how to get a better work-life balance, from author’s including Russel Brand, Grayson Perry and Robert Webb.

Councillor David Hall said, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, said: “Mental health is a hugely important issue that affects many people and we are delighted to be launching this new collection, which uses the proven power of reading to help men manage their mental health and wellbeing.

“This is an exciting partnership with our colleagues in Public Health that will have a real positive benefit for many.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependant or frequent drug users. It is also believed that men are less likely to seek medical help when suffering from poor mental health.

The collection hopes to help combat this problem by providing a free and easy to access resource that men and their family members can use to get a better understanding of how to stay mentally healthy.

The collection officially launched on 4 June in Yeovil Library in an event supported by Yeovil Men’s Shed, SPARK, Citizens Advice and Yeovil Town F.C. Collections also launched in Taunton, Bridgwater and Frome libraries, with shelves emptying out on just the first day.

The collections will remain in these libraries until the end of October, when they will move on to other libraries in Somerset.