Men’s Mental Health - A Crisis We Must Solve
There is absolutely no doubt that mental health is a serious crisis that is affecting the entire world. We live in very challenging times, and lots of places across the planet don’t have the mental health support services that people need.
However, there is one group that has particular difficulty with mental health, and that is man. Considering that men make up at least half the population of the world, the fact that they don’t have adequate mental health services is concerning. What’s gone wrong?
The Stigma of Men’s Mental Health
To understand the problem that has developed when it comes to men’s mental health, we have to take a bit of a deep dive into a concept known as toxic masculinity.
Once upon a time, traditional values were imported to young men. In particular, these values focused on ideas of masculinity. The ideal man, the strong man was a stoic one. He was expected to handle the challenges of life like providing for a family and navigating marriage without complaint. He was expected to be a pillar of support for his friends, a leading figure in his community, and a very tough person. Emotional battles were not considered masculinity. Men were expected to simply deal with things.
These values have been considered both harmful and archaic by modern standards. However, there are many men who find it difficult to talk about their mental health because they come from generations of men who never learned how. The lessons on how to talk and how to communicate have to come from somewhere, and they’re not coming from their fathers or grandfathers. There is a stigma surrounding men’s mental health where men don’t want to talk about it.
What Services Are Available?
There are services available for men to seek help regarding their mental health. Therapy and counselling are two options which have no specific gender requirement. Men can go to therapy just as well as women can, or anybody else, but the biggest problem remains the stigma.
Slowly and surely, there is a new culture being created amongst men where the new generations of men find it easier to talk about mental health, as these traditional masculine values are beginning to fade away, and disappear with each new generation. However, nobody can deny that the current stigma surrounding man’s mental health is still present, and it’s still a big problem.
As a society, we have to try and reassure a man that there is a support network available for them if they need it. We have to break down this incorrect assumption that talking about your feelings and needing help is a sign of weakness, because it’s not. There are lots of men who don’t have the emotional tools required to talk about mental health, or to process their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. This is not their fault, they were not taught how to deal with things, but it’s definitely a challenge that we need to resolve and tackle as a society. The problem cannot be allowed to continue.