5 Things You Need To Know About Men’s Mental Health
Posted November 13, 2021 by Guest Poster -
November is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and Charlie Health is committed to making reaching out for help easy, stigma-free, and accessible for EVERYONE.
While mental health holds a negative stigma in some communities regardless of gender, the intersection of masculinity stereotypes and mental illness makes it increasingly difficult for some men to reach out and get the help they need and deserve.
As a result,1 in 5 men develop alcohol dependency during their lives, male veterans experience more than twice the rate of drug and alcohol use than their women veteran counterparts, and men are dying by suicide more than 3.63 times as often as women in 2019.
It is evident that the old masculinity stereotypes of “not showing emotion,” or “men don’t cry” or “self-reliance” is clearly damaging to our men when we apply this to our mental health.
Charlie Health talked to one of our own this month to get his take on men’s mental health. Andrew Swartz, the AZ Director of Outreach, shared his insight on 5 things you need to know about men’s mental health.
- There are real and perceived barriers to men reaching out.
“A perceived barrier that men experience when reaching out for help is the common belief that men should hide their emotions in order to maintain their masculine identity. Fortunately, men in today’s society are beginning to be taught that asking for support is actually a sign of strength. Unfortunately, because of past stereotypes of what perceived “strength” is in a masculine culture, most men have a difficult time sharing or verbalizing their feelings. So although we are becoming more comfortable asking for support and allowing the chinks in our armor to be seen, we have a difficult time processing our weaknesses with other men.”
- Parents of boys can help change the stigma around men’s and boys’ mental health.
“When I was growing up, I learned from my mom that allowing your emotions to be seen and heard was actually a sign of respect, love, and compassion for yourself and those around you. I wouldn’t have taken that to heart had my dad not agreed with her. Not just supporting her verbally, but practicing this in his actions and behaviors. My parents’ actions had shown me that it’s ok to hurt, or love, or feel, or just be. I think that parents can help change the stigma around men’s mental health by teaching boys through their own actions. Positive learned behavior will allow a new generation to think/feel in entirely different ways.
- How male-male friendships can talk about mental health.
“Developing bonds by sharing failures and successes with other men in my life have allowed me to feel safe when opening up about my own insecurities/thoughts/emotions. When a male friend allows me to see them as themselves, without concern of their “masculine image”, it strengthens a mutual trust to be able to do the same… As I age, I realize that most men see through this lens, and I’ve gained the confidence to show myself or my emotions much more quickly in newer friendships.”
- What friends and family of men can do to make men feel more comfortable talking about “tough issues”
“By normalizing the experience for them. Men don’t need to be patted on the back for showing their emotions, they need to be allowed to discuss them in a way that feels as though it’s “just another conversation”.
- Resources for Men.
In Andrew’s role at Charlie Health, he talks to many different families and young men. He notes that there is quite a bit of hope in his work, as he’s “noticed that teens today interact much more openly than my generation. Boys/men seem to recognize their emotions and how to utilize their voice with greater ease than they did when I was a teen.” Some resources for our fellow brothers to reach out to for mental health are:
Man Therapy– a resource list and online community dedicated to ending the stigma around men’s mental health .https://mantherapy.org/
National Suicide Prevention Line- 800-273-8255
Charlie Health– Call: (866) 491 5196 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org visit: charliehealth.com
Charlie Health’s mission is dedicated to solving the mental health crisis in teens and young adults. We offer fully virtual intensive outpatient therapy for those who need more than one time per week therapy. Our curated groups, individual therapy, family therapy, and psychiatric services are designed to treat the entire client and promote lasting healing. Charlie Health’s innovative virtual model is the first of its kind, providing accessible, high-quality care as a licensed mental health and substance use hospital. We can reach teens and young adults across the entire state, and will never have a waitlist.
Charlie Health and our team of dedicated, licensed professionals are here to listen and here to help. Reaching out for help is tough, but a critical step towards healing. Call us any time and our team can help build you a custom treatment program, or help link you to the appropriate resources.