A Satirical Look at Men’s Mental Health
Taking a satirical look at men’s mental health
Many mental health disorders affect men and women, but their willingness to talk about their problems and feelings is vastly different. The stigma and perceived standards of masculinity that men face as they seek help for mental health issues continue to be obstacles. When mental health issues are neglected, they can worsen underlying conditions, present disorders, and make them more acute.
Here are some interesting facts about Canadian men’s mental health:
- – Around 10% of Canadian men face significant mental health issues at some point in their lives.
- – Every year, about one million Canadian men suffer from significant depression.
- – Each year, approximately 4,000 Canadians commit suicide, with men accounting for 75% of those who commit suicide.
- – Indigenous men in Canada have a suicide rate that is twice that of the national average.
- – Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, gay men have higher depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm, and substance abuse.
- So, what’s going on here? Why are there so few men seeking help for mental health issues?
The current state of men’s mental health has reached a tipping point in history, necessitating national strategies to address the growing number of men dealing with mental health issues.
Mental health stigmas are pervasive in our society. Men also face the stigma that seeking mental health help is a sign of weakness. Real men don’t ask for help, and discussing anxiety and depression won’t help. Men often face additional bias from their male peers, who believe that mental health issues make men a burden to others and that men should control and manage their own emotions. Whatever the stigmas, we must stop persuading men that they are insufficient if they express a desire to address mental health issues.
Addressing men’s mental health challenges
We can do a lot to determine how we think about men’s mental health to support and facilitate change. In addition, becoming an ally for those seeking or in need of mental health support offers an unbiased, safe, and supportive network for those in need.
Encouragement and allowing men to speak openly and confidently about their mental health is one of the most challenging aspects of helping them address it. Men are typically taught not to express or act emotionally throughout their lives. Although daily behavioural changes are standard and do not cause immediate trouble, if they persist for an extended period, typically 2 to 4 weeks, it could indicate a mental health disorder. Nevertheless, it’s always supportive to be aware of the symptoms and signs that a male in your life may be going through mental health-related concerns as a supportive resource for men.
- – Their personalities have shifted from the norm, such as experiencing mood swings, excessive anger, hostility, or violent behaviour, and an inability to cope with minor problems and daily activities.
- – They suffer from extreme anxiety or long-term depression, losing interest in hobbies or social activities that they previously enjoyed or participated in.
- – The use of alcohol and drugs has increased, beginning to affect their work and personal lives.
- – Their ability to think clearly and coherently articulate their thoughts differs noticeably.
How to support men’s mental health
What actions you and your organization should be taking to support men’s mental health now that you have a better understanding of the men’s challenges when it comes to mental health, and given the different signs and symptoms that your male counterparts may exhibit?
- Become better informed. Understanding what challenges men may face in terms of mental health is the first step toward assisting them. Contacting local men’s health organizations is a great way to expand your knowledge.
- Ask what you can do. Because mental health issues can be challenging to discuss, simply asking the question can be a significant step toward providing the proper support.
- Be there to listen. It takes a big deal of courage to talk about one’s mental health. Listening is one of the important ways to assist someone because it allows them to process and share their problems.
Men aren’t immune to mental health stigmas; however, they may be less likely to talk or address their concerns due to specific reasons. As a society, we can work collectively to combat mental health stigmas and encourage more people to discuss their problems openly. The more comfortable we become in discussing these issues, the healthier our society will be. Support the men in your life by speaking out against mental health stigmas and being a voice for them when they need it the most.
SMART CLINIC encourages people to speak out against mental health stigma. Our goal is to dismantle the systemic barriers that marginalized and racialized people frequently encounter. The responsibility of dismantling these barriers lies with us.