Mental health is a critical issue that affects individuals of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. However, the way we approach and discuss mental health can vary greatly depending on one's gender, leading to differences in mental health outcomes.
While both men and women can struggle with mental health issues, research shows that the manifestation and impact of mental health concerns can be different for each gender. Women are more likely to talk about their struggles, and they are diagnosed with depression more often, while men are more likely to hide their struggles and not get help for them. The American Medical Association states: “While men are diagnosed with depression at half the rate of women, they die by suicide 3 to 4 times as frequently,” which show the differences between the genders.
There are many reasons why this is the case. Although there has been some change, still too many men are expected to be self-reliant and are not encouraged enough to get help. Men may also be more likely to engage in risky behaviours such as substance abuse, which can worsen mental health issues.
The stigma surrounding mental illness makes many men feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they are struggling and worry that seeking help will make them seem weak or vulnerable. This stigma needs to be addressed, and we need to create a culture that supports men in seeking the help they need.
It's also important to recognize that mental health issues can be caused by a range of factors, including work or school-related stress, relationship problems and trauma. We need to address the root causes of these issues and provide access to prevent those causes and provide more support for the men.
So, what can we do to support men's mental health? Firstly, we need to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage men to seek help when they need it. This means promoting awareness of the services that are available and normalizing conversations about mental health.
Men's mental health is a complex issue that we all have an opportunity to address. We need to create a culture where men feel safe and supported to open up about their struggles and where we can work together to support one another. By breaking down stigma, promoting awareness and creating supportive communities, we can ensure that men have the help they need to thrive both mentally and physically.
Check on your loved ones, friends and family, even teachers, and make sure they are doing well. They might be hiding something that you don’t know about.