An Inverness based charity, set up to commemorate the lives of two friends -Michael Williamson and Martin Shaw- has produced an app designed with mental health sufferers in mind. The Williamson family introduced this app with the aim to bring support to their local community and others across the north of Scotland and generate higher awareness for suicide.

#Mikeysline is a smartphone based helpline that offers support through text message, making it widely accessible to those who feel they are suffering in silence with thoughts of suicide. The app also appeals to people who struggle to cope with depression and its effects.

Men neglecting mental health more at risk

672 suicides were registered in Scotland last year and over 6,000 in the UK, with the rate for males being more than two-and-a-half times the amount for females, indicating four out of five suicides are by men. Socioeconomic factors and age are reported to be the main risk factors for middle-aged men who are stuck between the post-war and millennial generation gap. With men being less likely than women to report symptoms or seek help when mental health troubles them, discreet, media based advances -such as the Mikeysline app- may be the answer some are looking for.

Concerns regarding men's health

While the app does not strictly target men, it does bring awareness to issues and concerns regarding men’s health. Men are more likely to lack basic precursors for mental health such as emotional support from friends and family or positive engagement in their education or work environments; due to this, symptoms of mental health distress may not conventionally emerge. Men reportedly only begin seeking medical help when their bodies show physical indicators of ill health. Some say chest pains, abnormalities and the common cold are worth a visit to a GP while anxiety, feeling low, and sleeping problems, are overlooked.

Inconsistency in facts and figures of men diagnosed with psychological disorders affecting mental health fluctuate each year. However, major effects of those that go undiagnosed paint a telling picture of men’s health; Men are reporting overall lower life satisfaction, are more likely frequent drug users, to commit violent crimes, and become alcohol dependent.

Guys, ask yourself: How are you feeling today – and everyday? #mentalhealth