International Men’s health recognises June as Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Despite progress, there remains a stigma surrounding men’s mental health, posing challenges for men and boys seeking help. There is still a global perception and societal expectation that require men to suppress emotions, adopt a “man up” mentality, or appear strong for others. Consequently, some men may believe that having or acknowledging a mental health condition reflects weakness or a lack of masculinity.

Recognising that mental health conditions are not indications of personal weakness but rather health conditions akin to any other ailment is important. Seeking assistance from a doctor for a broken arm does not evoke shame, and similarly, reaching out to a therapist should be regarded without prejudice.

As family practitioners, we are sometimes the first point of call for men suffering with their mental health as a result of a breakdown in their relationship. However, our primary role is to provide legal guidance and support to individuals going through divorce. When working with men who are struggling with mental health issues during this challenging time, we strive to assist them as best as we can. This includes establishing a safe and non-judgmental space where men can openly express their emotions and concerns.

Additionally, where appropriate and when necessary, we recommend and refer clients to mental health professionals, such as therapists or counsellors, who specialise in supporting individuals facing divorce and managing mental health challenges. These professionals can provide appropriate interventions, therapy, and support tailored to the specific needs of my clients.

Divorce and separation can have a profound impact on a man’s mental well-being, bringing about various emotional and practical challenges. Divorce often involves the loss of a significant relationship and can trigger a range of intense emotions such as sadness, grief, anger, and betrayal. Men may struggle with these emotions and find it challenging to cope with the dissolution of their marriage.

Additionally, the process of divorce and separation can be emotionally and financially demanding. Dealing with legal processes, property division, and child custody arrangements can be confusing and difficult to navigate. These stressors can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues during the divorce proceedings. It is vital to ensure that you are fully aware of how the process works and what to expect to gain control over the process and relieve stress.

Something that is not always recognised during divorce and separation is the loss of emotional support. This is because divorce and separation can result in changes to social networks and support systems. Losing shared friendships or being physically separated from children can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can affect mental health. For most people, their partner is their best friend, and the loss of that connection will have a detrimental impact upon their mental health.

Importantly, if children are involved, men may face additional stress that impacts their mental health. The challenges of co-parenting, negotiating custody arrangements, and adjusting to new parenting roles can create significant stress. Concerns about the well-being and adjustment of the children, as well as potential conflicts with the other parent, can add to parental stress levels and impact mental health. Disagreements and conflicts related to child custody, contact, and decision-making can arise, leading to heightened stress and emotional strain. Ongoing conflicts can contribute to anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties, affecting mental well-being.

Lastly, divorce and separation often involve splitting belongings and adjusting finances, which can cause a lot of financial stress and uncertainty. The resulting financial impact can have a profound effect on an individual’s mental health, manifesting as heightened anxiety, increased stress levels, and a pervasive feeling of instability. The uncertainty surrounding financial matters during divorce can contribute to emotional distress, potentially exacerbating mental health challenges and necessitating additional support and coping mechanisms.

During this challenging time, it’s important for men to seek support from trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals. At Hubbard Pegman and Whitney, we prioritise the well-being of clients in our work. Our aim is to assist individuals in family matters with the least amount of conflict possible. Our family solicitor, Figen Demiri, is a member of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers dedicated to resolving family disputes in a positive and non-confrontational way. As a member, Figen actively promotes solutions that aim to minimise conflict.

If you are in need of a family lawyer, get in touch with us today. Currently, we are offering a free initial telephone consultation with our family team for new enquiries. During this call, we will tell you what we can do next to get started. Give our family solicitors a call now for a friendly chat on 020 8735 9770 or email info@hpwsolicitors.co.uk


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