Men’s suicide rates remain an issue of concern in the United Kingdom (UK). In England and Wales, males accounted for around three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2019 (4,303 male deaths compared with 1,388 female deaths). Men do not always utilise health services and may be reluctant to access help from professional mental health services, thus indicating a need to better understand men’s distress, as well as services that enable men to cope better. The Atlas men’s well-being programme was created with the intention of addressing distress, and to improve access to mental health services for men. Atlas, originated by Professor Damien Ridge and co-designed with Professor David Peters, was designed to be ‘male sensitive’ and provide counselling and/or acupuncture to men suffering from stress or distress. Atlas is based at the Victoria Medical Centre (VMC), a busy NHS GP practice in Central London with over 18,000 patients on their books. Atlas was first piloted from March 2014 until July 2014 for practice patients. An evaluation study of the original Atlas Men’s wellbeing pilot programme showed improvements in patient’s mental and physical health (Cheshire, Peters, & Ridge, 2016), with high acceptability for both men who attended as well as VMC staff. Atlas 2.0, a continuation of the pilot service based at the VMC, ran from September 2017 to the present day. The current report is an evaluation of data for this service up until January 2020.
|University of Westminster Press
|Published - 2020