SOLENT Mind is urging people to complete a 24-hour sponsored silence to highlight the issue of men keeping quiet about their mental health.

Men are three times more likely than women to take their own life but are less likely to seek help if problems are preying on their mind.

Now Solent Mind is focusing on the issue ahead of International Men’s Day on Friday.

It follows the launch of Let’s Talk Mate, a monthly chat that invites men in the Solent area to get together and talk openly about their mental health problems.

A spokesman said the sponsored silence aimed to show how hard life can be when people are unable to communicate with others.

He added: “We want to encourage men to talk, particularly about any mental health struggles they may be having, even though they may find it difficult.

“The charity is hoping as many people as possible will complete the sponsored silence to raise money but also to highlight why talking matters. They can take part at any time to fit in with their schedule.”

In England around one in eight men has a common mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.

Research shows that men who are unable to talk about their emotions often fail to recognise symptoms of mental health problems and are less likely to seek support.

Rob Eamey, one of the Let’s Talk Mate hosts, said: “We hope the 24-hour sponsored silence raises awareness of the importance of communication and being able verbally to express your feelings.

“We started the podcast because we know men are more likely to take their lives and are less likely to access mental health support.

“Let’s Talk Mate is about inspiring men to talk about their mental health by, at the very least, getting them to listen to other men being open and honest.”

A Mental Health Foundation spokesperson added: “Men are often expected to be strong, dominant and in control. While these aren’t inherently bad things, they can make it harder for men to reach out for help and open up.

“However, research suggests men will access help that meets their preferences and is easy to access, meaningful and engaging.”

Solent Mind hopes people who have completed their silence they take to social media to talk about what it was like being unable to express their feelings.”

To donate or take part visit justgiving.com/campaign/letstalkmate.