As such, the mental health community has had to work very hard to educate, provide resources and support for mental health in men. Not only is there a stigma amongst men, but many of these myths of masculinity can be upheld and enforced by the larger community of men and women alike.
So, let’s talk about it!
Men’s Mental Health Statistics
Men’s mental health is a crisis! That might sound dramatic or extreme, but it’s true. One can easily see this when simply looking at the numbers. For example, In Canada, four of five suicides amongst all age groups are male.
Although women are statistically more likely to have depression and anxiety, many believe that this has less to do with gender based pre-disposition and more to do with who discloses their mental health struggles and who is most likely to seek help from a professional. The metrics we use to study mental health are only insightful if the participants are willing to disclose or even identify their struggles.
There is no doubt that the socialization of men has historically and currently created a stigma around men’s mental health and has created a barrier of entry for men seeking assistance in their journey. This stigma negatively affects men the most, as many feel unable to publicly embrace their emotions for fear of being called out or criticized.
Men & Mental Health – The Stigma
We’ve all heard the terms “man up” or “boys don’t cry”. Men who share their emotions or show a “softer side” are often deemed lesser than or feminized. These teachings start young and are reaffirmed in both obvious and more covert ways by parents, school, friends and the culture at large.
Emotions are not always encouraged in young boys and this can lead to emotional suppression or confusion in adulthood. Pair this with the teachings that men should be strong, independent and leaders/breadwinners and it’s no surprise men are less likely to ask for help when it comes to mental health.
In order to make mental health support available to all people, we must actively work towards breaking down the stigmas like the ones that affect men.
Benefits of Therapy for Men
Therapy and professional mental health treatment is beneficial for all, but it can be especially helpful for men. Many men may have never had the opportunity to speak openly with someone about their personal struggles, issues, concerns and emotions.
Therapy can help build strategies and roadmaps forward, by working with a trained therapist who is experienced in the specific area of concern, clients can tackle anything from job stress, relationships, anger, depression, anxiety..etc.
Although it can sometimes take some time to find an ideal client & therapist pairing, there is truly a therapist for everyone.
Looking for a therapist? Our team of professionals are trained in a variety of modalities. Contact Reflection Centre today for more information.