Men’s Health Awareness Month

Men’s Mental Health Awareness

  • ”BOYS DON’T CRY!”
  • ”TAKE IT LIKE A MAN!”
  • ”YOU PLAY LIKE A GIRL”
  • ”DON’T BE SUCH A GIRL!”
  • ”MAN UP, C’MON BE A MAN!’

These are some destructive things little boys often grow up hearing and guess what happens? It affects them later in life, friendships and relationships. The whole concept of men shouldn’t cry has always irked me because you’re human, it’s okay to be upset about something and to cry about it. It’s a good thing to be in touch with your emotions yes even as a man and yes men too deserve a safe space to express their emotions.

Men are less likely than women to be diagnosed with any of the most common mental health disorders, and those who have received a diagnosis are less likely to seek treatment. Yet nearly four times as many men as women die by suicide.

Newport Institute

My personal most common saying is that everyone has mental health, not everyone has a mental illness. The most common symptoms of mental health problems in men are;

  • Anger/Irritability
  • Substance abuse
  • High risk activities
  • Apetite changes
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Overthinking/Extreme stress levels
  • Feeling worthless/Overwhelmed

Men also experience anxiety, depression and stress but are less likely to seek help from a therapist.

It comes down to the whole concept of ”Be a man” or ”You’re a man. Why are you so sensitive?” but like I mentioned before men deserve a safe space too especially within their community and it shouldn’t be deemed as weak. You’re human. It’s okay.

When I was romantically involved with someone, I made it my thing to often check in with him now and again. I never told him I was about to do it, but I did it in a way that made him feel comfortable, made sure I created a safe space for no judgment, for him to feel seen and, most importantly, secure, safe and loved. His mental health was, if not the most important thing in the relationship, as was my mental health. This is something that came naturally to me over time. It comes down to how you portray your words because of society’s mistakes; you must be careful in how you say things because one of the worst things a man should be made to feel is inadequate for showing his emotions or being open.

Before checking in with anyone make sure your own mental health is okay first because you are the most important person in your life, it doesn’t matter whether you are checking in with a male colleague, a brother, cousin, boyfriend, husband etc.

Little boys’ emotions deserve to be acknowledged. Men deserve to feel seen and have a safe space just like everyone else because there would be less tragedy if they were and I’m hoping this month to bring more awareness.

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