In recent years there has been an explosion in ministry specifically to men. Breakfasts, outings and weekends away for men are now commonplace on the menu of many churches. Alongside this phenomenon statistics show a growing mental health crisis amongst men in this region. Northern Ireland has repeatedly had the highest suicide rate in the UK and men make up over 75% of this statistic. In this age of uncertainty with a rise in global terrorism, economic instability and insatiable demands of the workplace, many men are under increased and sustained pressure, resulting in isolation, addiction and depression. The shadow of the Troubles also looms large with countless men in our communities living with the crippling symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Statutory mental health services are failing to supply the demand for their services. In November 2016 it was reported that not one of Northern Ireland's five health trusts met the waiting time targets for people experiencing severe mental health difficulties.Continue reading
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