- by Connie
Throughout November I have been asking men in my life why mental health support is a big deal to them. I could talk about it as much as I wanted, but as a woman I am fundamentally unable to fully describe or understand the mental health challenges men go through. Here in this post I wanted to share the perspectives and issues that most affect the men I know and love.
I hope this can be eye opening and informative, as well as helping anyone out there to know they are not alone.
“As much as women are bombarded with images of unrealistic beauty standards, men are also subjected to an image of a male who’s in full control of his emotions, without ever showing any moments of weakness or vulnerability. Guess what? Men cry too. In addition, statistics have shown that males are more susceptible to suicide because of a variety of pressures assumed to them as the role of “strong men”. Doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female in the end.”
– Franco – Malta – 31 – Freelance videographer
“To discuss mental health is one of the most important things that is constantly neglected. It is AS IMPORTANT as physical health, we need both to function and lead a good life.
Yet most people are putting mental health issues aside and ignore them or look down on people who reach out for advice or help. Amongst men this is the most severe in my opinion because most men are stupidly proud and seeking help or consulting for a mental issue they notice is a no go for them which can very well ruin their lives or significantly lower the quality of their lives at the least.
Men have this picture in their head that they need to be a strong person who can protect and care for a family which clearly rules any kind of weakness out. So they often hesitate to tell anyone how they really feel and what troubles them. I think everyone has to overcome this stigma on mental health and treat it like you would treat a physical health issue. Everyone would benefit from that.”
– Clemens – Austria – 27 – Machine Operator
“Mental Health and just general health issues are not discussed within the male community enough. People see it as a sign of weakness or even seem to find it funny that someone mental state is not ‘normal’. People should be free to speak about themselves no matter the gender, and I feel everyone should be treated equally. Treat those how you would want to be treated.”
– John – UK – 23 – Production Engineer
“I think it’s important so that friends and family can know what’s going on so they can help you deal with what’s wrong by supporting them and being with them so they don’t have to deal with it alone.”
– Richard – South Africa – 24 – Bartender
“I think it’s important to initiate discussion about mental health with men, because they will almost never bring it up themselves when it’s in relation to their self.
I personally feel that I’m being an inconvenience or a burden for ever bringing up my own real personal issues with anyone who isn’t my mother, however feel nothing of the sort when others confide in me. Initiation is important.”
– Zac – Australia – 22 – Labourer
“Its a difficult one. Other people have their own stuff without me getting them down or whatever. I obviously think it’s important to talk about mental health but if I’m having a sad day or whatnot I feel like it’s like it should just be my problem you know.”
– Jamie – UK – 24 – Customer Relations
“Mental health (at least in south east Asia, I’m pretty sure around the world as well) isn’t really talked much about. It is not common to seek counselling let alone talk about mental health until lately with social media and information being easily accessible. Do I think it is important to discuss mental health? Yes. Why is it important to discuss mental health?any times we often don’t understand what we go through (and why we go through it) ourselves and because not many people talk about it, individuals may feel like they’re the only ones going through what they are going through which can lead to deeper problems.
As men, we try to not show our vulnerabilities(call it pride call it ego call it whatever you want) and it makes it harder to open up, so we tend to bear everything on our own, not letting people in. Not only men but humans in general do not like to talk about their scars.”
– Caleb – Malaysia – 26 – Software Engineer
Thank you to everyone who got back to me, I’m so glad you were able to share your thoughts.
If you have an opinion about what Men’s mental health support should be, or a comment on what it is like now, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment.
If you want more updates from me, please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @Connieunkiga