November 8, 2021

Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

Cultural stigma surrounding mental health is one of the chief obstacles to people admitting that they are struggling. Men especially, are less likely to open up on their emotional lows, more so in a society where gender stereotype is rampant. Men, for example, are expected to be strong, act macho, dominant and in control. While these aren’t inherently bad things, however, such societal stigmas place men in a mental incarceration where they tend to be reluctant to share their mental struggles.

Unlike women, Men and boys are less likely to be aware of their own mental health or worse still, identify a close friend that is silently dealing with depression, developed a mental illness or one that is having suicidal thoughts. These significantly put them at a higher risk of abusing drugs, committing suicide or can as well manifest through acts of violence and aggression — which can lead to more stigma and a continuation of the cycle.

If you’re a man, remember that sharing your emotions or crying isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength thus should feel confident and comfortable seeking support and appropriate care. It is essential to take care of your mind and emotions to get the most out of life. Simple, yet significant routines could make a big difference.

i.e.

  • Find someone you feel comfortable with and share your thoughts, emotions and feelings. He/she may not necessarily give the best advice but the feeling that you shared it could be all the therapy you need.
  • Keep in touch; Make yourself available for friends and families to reach out to you.
  • Take a break. Find a serene spot and ease out the pressure. A calm environment away from your daily routine could as well do the trick. This could also be in the form of something that you enjoy doing, a hobby for example.
  • Avoid toxic masculinity. It adds to the stigma, and can push you deeper into denial and prevent you from getting treatment.

November is more than just about growing a beard and keeping those moustaches, it’s dedicated to Men’s mental health. And being a post-pandemic period the situation is bound to get worse since many suffered Unemployment, Financial distress, Social isolation and relationship breakdowns.

The key is to make Men more aware of the mental health and realize when to reach out for help when you need it. No one is superhuman when it comes to how we handle our emotions. We all get tired and feel overwhelmed when things don’t go as per expectations. So reach out, Could be to a friend, family, a professional or online sessions. Just be sure to do something about it.


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