SAMARITANS Scotland is sharing new research on how lockdown measures have affected Scottish men, as we launch the Real People, Real Stories campaign, supported by the rail industry and I am sure that Central Fife Times readers will find this interesting.

The charity surveyed almost 2,000 men online aged 18 to 59, including nearly 200 in Scotland, to find out how the pandemic restrictions have affected their mental health and support networks.

42% of Scottish men questioned felt that the restrictions have had a negative impact on their mental health, with loneliness and/or isolation, anxiety, financial worries and separation from loved ones among their concerns. Two in five (42%) men in Scotland also said they had experienced loneliness and isolation during lockdown.

Despite some men saying that they find it hard to talk to someone about the way they are feeling when they are struggling, almost half (42%) of men in Scotland said that talking to others helped with concerns and worries they had during lockdown, showing the importance of seeking help and getting support when they need it.

Samaritans’ campaign Real People, Real Stories aims to reach men who are struggling to cope to prevent them reaching crisis point. It features men sharing their stories of how they have overcome tough times to encourage others to seek help, by calling Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visiting for online self-help tools and information.

These figures are another sign of the strain the coronavirus pandemic has placed on mental health and wellbeing and a stark reminder of why we must work to make sure that anyone who is struggling feels able to ask for help and receive the right support at the right time.

At Samaritans, we know that less well-off middle aged men have remained the highest risk group for suicide in the UK for decades. The impact of the pandemic and the restrictions put in place to contain the virus risk exacerbating the sense of isolation and disconnection that many men face, making it harder to seek help.

Real People, Real Stories runs to September 27 and aims to reach men aged 18-59 years and above who are feeling low and struggling to cope.


Samaritans Scotland Executive Director.