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Hallmark helps men talk

Charity link aims to use Father’s Day range to support mental health and express feelings


Helping men express their feelings and supporting mental health is behind a Father’s Day partnership between Hallmark and male suicide prevention charity Andy’s Man Club.

With suicide the biggest killer of men under 50, the charity’s strapline It’s Okay To Talk reinforces its aim to change this through the power of conversation but research recently commissioned by Hallmark found that 50% of the 1,000 men consulted struggle to talk about their feelings, while 19% find it easier to reveal their emotions in writing.

Above: Hallmark has launched a social medial campaign about the charity tie-up
Above: Hallmark has launched a social medial campaign about the charity tie-up

Andrew Dewhirst, senior writer for Hallmark, said: “As millions prepare to celebrate paternal figures across the UK, the calendar date also offers an opportunity to redefine the meaning behind the heartfelt messages we send to dads.

“Men can find it challenging to open up because society has conditioned them to believe that vulnerability is a sign of weakness, which came out as one of the top reasons in our research.

“However, embracing vulnerability is a courageous act that can lead to authentic connections and emotional well-being.

“Sometimes the simplest gesture – a card filled with love, appreciation and understanding – can become pathways for crucial conversations, especially for fathers who may find it difficult to open up.”

And the research, which also cited fear of embarrassment (42%), feeling awkward (39%) and nervousness about looking weak (30%), as among the main reasons for the issue, has helped launch the unique collection of Father’s Day cards crafted to convey messages of love, appreciation and understanding in time for this year’s celebration on Sunday, 16 June – more details can be seen in the video below.

It also emerged partners are the people men feel most comfortable opening up to, but dads and colleagues are the hardest to have a meaningful chat with 42% saying their own dad didn’t express his feelings, and the same number had never had a deep and meaningful conversation with their father.

In the research by OnePoll for Hallmark, 26% of respondents said they don’t want to express their feelings in case they’re seen as a burden while 19% fear being made fun of, 23% felt they wouldn’t be able to articulate their emotions properly by speaking out loud, 13% simply don’t want others to see them cry, and 39% admit it would make them feel “weak” if they were to express their feelings to another man.

Above: There’s a large range of cards available
Above: There’s a large range of cards available

However, of those who do take that step, 28% felt relieved, 25% felt better overall and 17% felt more relaxed.

The number one topic men wish they could open up about was their mental health, followed by physical health issues and feeling lonely while others are concerned about financial worries, physical insecurities or how to cope when someone hurts their feelings.

And three quarters of those polled consider it important that men have spaces where they can express their feelings with no judgement, but 58% admitted they didn’t know of any men’s health charities they could reach out to for support – and a third weren’t surprised to hear suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50.

Luke Ambler, co-founder and chair of Andy’s Man Club, commented: “For men, opening up can feel like stepping into uncharted territory, but it’s in these moments of vulnerability that true growth and connection occur.

Above: Andy’s Man Club has over 190 support groups across the UK
Above: Andy’s Man Club has over 190 support groups across the UK

“When men allow themselves to feel and express their emotions, they may discover a newfound sense of freedom and inner peace.

“To encourage more men to open up – however they feel comfortable – more safe spaces are needed where men can start to explore this.”

Andy’s Man Club offers over 190 free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across the UK and online and Hallmark has teamed up with the charity to help end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation, encouraging them to share their feelings this Father’s Day through the card range.

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