The fact that more adults in Dundee have a mental health condition than the Scottish average might not come as much of a surprise.
Poverty, addiction and unemployment – three things the city struggles with – are all associated with poor mental wellbeing.
But what might be surprising is that according to new data, women are more likely than men to have a mental health condition.
According to Dundee’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Plan, which will be discussed by councillors next week, the highest rate for adults reporting a mental health condition in Dundee is among women aged 39-45.
Ash Mullen, 37, a student mental health nurse and founder of mental health group Let’s Talk Tayside, said: “We’re taught in our training that women are more likely to speak about their problems than men.
“I think mental health touches everyone at some point in their life but maybe it’s easier for women generally to talk about it – to their friends or their doctor. I have anxiety and after I started speaking about it I realised it will never go away, but you can develop tools to cope with it.
“Ultimately it depends on the individual but there’s a reason groups like Andy’s Men’s Club are there to get more men to talk about how they’re feeling.”
Another men’s mental health group is Art Angel, based at Enterprise House, which runs art, drama and film sessions.
Manager Rosie Summerton said: “Because of the increase in suicide in young men, and if you look through the mental health strategy, the figures are appalling for Dundee.
“There is a huge amount of people and young people turning up with mental health issues and I think we need to really address that.
“I think young men have found it more difficult to seek help than young women might.
“I think the reason why we are starting young men’s groups is that young men find it difficult to speak out and ask for help when things aren’t going well.
“To be able to offer them something which is almost like an alternative form of communication is really useful.”
Dundee’s mental health strategy outlines a number of measures aimed at increasing good mental wellbeing, including an emphasis on the social aspects of recovery, and delivering more mental health and wellbeing short courses in community settings.
Art Angel member Dylan Hood, 21, said: “It gets you doing things you want to do and seeing people you want to see. It’s a distraction from your own mind, because I can get trapped in my own mind sometimes.
“It’s about people who have had similar experiences to you and if you want to speak about it they will happily speak to you about it, and encourage you to come out your shell.”
Aaron Third, 24, added: “It’s just nice being around people who share the same experiences as you.
“I come to the art group on Fridays, and when I do, I feel like nothing else takes my focus away from drawing.”
Group co-ordinator Becca Greig added: “We don’t ask them what their mental health problem is.
“It gives them the freedom to just work without being judged or worrying about being judged.”
Art Angel will be holding a group exhibition at 5pm on Thursday, at Enterprise House on North Lindsay Street. To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01382 228383 December 19.