Updated: Sep 23, 2021
I’m a man in my mid-40s so I think I relate to some of the cultural influences that can stop men from checking in with their mental health. I’m going to point you to a free, quick and anonymous tool to do that today.
What's stopping men from getting help with mental health?
Men often have thoughts about being self-reliant – we think we should be able to solve problems, especially our own. We would rather be told how to fix ourselves than seek help. Thoughts about being strong, not showing emotion, being tough and fighting through, keeping our family safe, being the bread winner and more – are often ingrained in men through North American culture. The expression “be a man” basically says it all. It says, be strong.
Why are men are at risk?
Men are not as likely to express distress when things go wrong and not as likely to seek professional support even in crisis. This is not working out well. Statistics show that 4 out of 5 completed suicides are men between the ages of 25 – 54.
Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away and lots of men are paying the price for misguided ideals about being a man.
Men are susceptible to something called masked depression - depression that often goes undiagnosed. The signs usually show up in the body: increased fatigue, sleep issues, irritability, anger, impulsiveness, lowered stress tolerance, lowered interest, alcohol and/or drug abuse.
And when men do not get help for their anxiety, depression, anger and substance abuse, which cause enough trouble on their own, they’re at greater risk for suicide.
As promised, here’s a free, quick and anonymous assessment you can do to check-in on your mental health and it’s designed for men. It is a tool created by Mantherapy.org, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the mental health of men: https://mantherapy.org/head-inspection/question
Do it for yourself and share it with other men. It’s time that being a man included taking care of our mental health.
Author John Woychuk
J.Woychuk Counselling & Psychotherapy