November 29, 2023

Men’s mental health is bigger than stereotypes or traditions —it is a matter of life and death.

We are closing out November and Men’s Health Awareness Month and for some of us, myself included, that means the mustache I have carefully cultivated has got to go. But while there is still time, let’s reflect on a topic that is a little less fun, but so much more important than facial grooming — men’s mental health.

Traditional stereotypes often relegate men to be strong silent types — bottling up emotions and never showing weakness. It has led to a culture of silence around men’s mental health, making it difficult for men to seek help when they need it. It is time to end the stigma.

What is mental health stigma?

Mental health stigma is a negative attitude or belief about mental illness. It can manifest in many ways, such as:

  • Social isolation: People with mental illness may be ostracized or excluded from social activities.
  • Discrimination: People with mental illness may be denied employment, housing, or other opportunities.
  • Self-stigma: People with mental illness may internalize negative stereotypes about themselves, which can lead to low self-esteem and self-worth.

 

How does mental health stigma affect men?

Mental health stigma can have a devastating impact on men’s lives. It can lead to:

Delayed diagnosis and treatment: Men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health problems. This can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment, which can worsen the course of the illness.

Substance abuse: Men may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with their mental health problems.

Suicide: Men are more than three times more likely than women to die by suicide.

Men’s mental health is bigger than stereotypes or traditions —it is a matter of life and death.

What can each of us do?

Each of us has a part to play to reduce mental health stigma and encourage men to seek help when they need it:

Educating the public about mental illness

We need to dispel the myths and misconceptions about mental illness. Speak out when you hear a harmful stereotype.

Encouraging men to talk about their mental health:

We need to create a safe and supportive environment for men to talk about their feelings. Each of us can provide that safe space for the men in our lives.

 

What can I do if I am struggling with my mental health?

It is important to remember that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. It is a common and treatable condition. Here are a few steps you can take today:

Talk to someone you trust

No matter what the world makes you feel like, there are people who want to support you. Talking to a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor you trust to hear and help you address your feelings.

Join a support group 

You are not the only one wrestling with mental health. There are many support groups available for men. These groups can provide you with a safe and supportive place to connect with others who understand what you are going through.

Take care of yourself

Make sure you are eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. These activities can help improve your mood and overall well-being.

Don’t give up

Recovery from mental illness is a journey. There will be ups and downs along the way, but don’t give up on yourself. With treatment and support, you can get better.

Men’s mental health is a topic that cannot be ignored any longer. By working together, we can create a culture where men feel comfortable growing fantastic mustaches all year round and, much more importantly, seeking help for their mental health problems. If you are struggling with your mental health, please know that you are not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help.

Interested in more resources on mental health? Click the button below to access our free mental health toolkit.

Weekly Recipe

Slow Cooker Harvest Beef Stew