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Does Men's Mental Health Matter?

Discussing the stigma behind mens mental health and ways in which we can normalise it

man depression mental health sadness

Men's mental health is a topic that has gained more attention in recent years. Historically, there has been a stigma associated with mental health, particularly for men, leading to many suffering in silence. However, as mental health is talked about more, we learn more about the importance of it. As a result, it is becoming increasingly clear that men's mental health matters, and should be spoken about, as much as anyone else's.

The stigma behind men's mental health

Men carry the weight of mental health stigma in our current society, creating a culture of shame and secrecy. Men are taught to suppress their emotions and put on a brave face, even when they are feeling their lowest. This leads to a reluctance to seek help when they are struggling and, instead, they may try to tough it out on their own, which can not only magnify the problem but can lead to horrific outcomes.

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can have serious consequences if they are left untreated. They can affect a person's ability to function in their daily life, leading to problems at work, in relationships, and with overall well-being and in extreme cases, mental health conditions can even often result in suicide.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than twice as many males die due to suicide as females (12.6 per 100 000 males compared with 5.4 per 100 000 females), meaning this stigma around men is causing more damage than good.

Why do men suffer with mental health?

Men may be more prone to mental health issues as a response to the pressure to conform to traditional masculine 'norms'. Men are taught from a young age that 'boys don't cry', and if they were to cry they should 'stop being a girl'. Men are taught to be strong and display a tough masculine exterior, suggesting they shouldn't show emotion to do so. This can create a sense of shame for men who do experience emotions such as sadness or fear and, in some cases, can cause men to feel like they are failing at being a man, simply because they are struggling with their mental health. This can make it even harder for them to seek help when they really need it.

As strange as it sounds, poor mental health can not only be damaging mentally, it can have an impact on physical health too. Both mental health and physical health are closely linked and both contribute to a range of health issues.

By addressing mental health issues and combatting physical issues by, for example, exercising once a day, men can improve their overall health and well-being.

mental health depression men

What's the good news?

As mental health is discussed more, more men are beginning to speak out about their mental health. This is partially thanks to high-profile figures who have shared their own struggles with mental health, such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who stresses to his fans that there is 'no shame' in reaching out to others for help, breaking down the stigma.

There are a growing number of resources available for men struggling with their mental health. Many organisations now offer mental health support specifically for men, recognizing that men have unique needs when it comes to mental health. This includes things such as online support groups, counselling services, and mental health retreats.

However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that men's mental health is taken seriously. We, as a society, need to continue to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. This can be done by encouraging men to speak out about their experiences and fighting against traditional masculine norms which contribute to mental health problems.

We should also ensure that mental health services are accessible and affordable for all. In many cases, mental health care can be expensive or difficult to access, particularly for those who live in rural or remote areas or those who simply cannot afford it. By making mental health care more accessible, we can ensure that men who are struggling are able to get the support they need.

mental health depression balloon

To summarise

Men's mental health matters just as much as anyone else's. Mental health conditions can have serious consequences if left untreated, and men are more likely to suffer in silence due to social stigma and traditional masculine norms. By breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health, providing accessible mental health services, and encouraging men to seek help when they need it, we can improve the mental health and well-being of men around the world.


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