The issue of men's mental health has been largely overlooked and ignored for far too long. Despite being a very real and often debilitating problem, a lack of understanding and awareness of men's mental health issues mean that it is still not taken seriously enough. This essay will discuss why this is the case, and look at three key factors: the social stigma of men's mental health, the lack of education on the topic, and the impact of traditional gender roles. Mental health among men is a topic that is often overlooked and disregarded.
Three reasons why men do not seek help
TM Greene-Shortridge, TW Britt, and CA Castro in their study Military MedicIne(2007) point out that men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues than women and are more likely to suffer from mental health issues in silence. This could be due in part to the societal expectation that men should be strong and not show weakness. This kind of stigma has been proven to be detrimental to men’s mental health. Additionally, this stigma can also be seen in the lack of resources available to men who are suffering from mental health issues. For example, many mental health organizations focus on helping women, thereby creating a gender imbalance in the help available. There is a need for more resources and services to be available to men that are specifically designed to address their mental health needs. It is only by breaking through the stigma and offering tangible help that men can be encouraged to seek the help they need.
Mental health is a pressing issue that affects both men and women, yet often times men are not as forthright in discussing their mental health. This is due to a lack of education on the subject, as suggested by study by Patient Education and Counselling. This is a concerning problem as men are more likely to suffer from certain mental health issues, such as substance abuse and suicide, than women. In order to minimise the effect of this, men must be given access to accurate information about mental health as well as support systems and networks that encourages them to discuss their mental health and break current stigmas. Furthermore, the stigma surrounding mental health must be addressed in order to create an environment that is healthy and aiming to make it easier for men seeking help. Education on mental health should be aimed at men, with a focus on prevention, early detection and treatment as well as create an understanding that everyone can feel down. By providing education and resources, men may feel more comfortable speking to one another as well as feeling included and not neglected like men have felt in society for so long.
What part do gender roles play?
Gender roles have been a long-standing social construct, defining how men and women should act and behave in society. However, research by Mr Baggio done at alt university in a case study. found that traditional gender roles can have a negative impact on a men’s mental health. They found that those who align themselves with the traditional roles showed higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. This is because traditional gender roles limit the scope of activities that men can engage in, which can lead to feelings of powerlessness and lack of control. This is due to toxic masculinity this need for men to be “men.” Furthermore, traditional gender roles can lead to feelings of loneliness as men are expected to keep their emotions to themselves typically. This lack of emotional support can add to the a systemic psychological strain that men experience due to societal pressures. It is therefore important to break down the gender roles that are traditionally imposed on men, in order to protect their mental health.
Despite recent progress in widening the dialogue and awareness surrounding mens mental health, there is still a long way to go in terms of reducing the stigma associated with this critical issue. Male influencers and those in the lime light have recently helped aid this push. But we need to hear from the masses. With rising levels of depression and suicide among men worldwide, society needs to recognize their mental health struggles and provide them with safe, judgement-free spaces to access support and resources. We need to provide a support system and abolish any systematic pressures put on men that negates the status quo.