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Men's Mental Health Matters

Every year around this time many people grow out their hair for the boys bringing issues such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer to the forefront. They accept the 30-day challenge to grow out their hair, beards, and mustaches in order to evoke conversations and raise cancer awareness. But what about talking about mens mental health?


While many men will make appointments this month to check their physical health, it is often their mental health that is ignored. Many men are still taught from an early age to "be strong" and hold back emotions. These stereotypical expectations can prevent one from seeking help or treatment for a mental health condition.


According to the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control, men are responsible for 76.92 percent of all completed suicides. Basically, about four out of every five completed suicides is a guy. Men between the ages of 25-54 account for the most suicide deaths in the U.S. That makes fellas 4X more likely to die of suicide than women. Coincidentally men are the least likely to receive support or talk to a friend.


So men what can you do?

  • Talk to other men. Friendships are important for a men's mental health . Find male friends you feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with. Initiate those conversations not only for yourself, but for your buddies too.

  • Get outside. Sunlight and exercise have both been proven to help. tired people stay awake and sunlight is a natural mood booster.

  • Don't be afraid to ask. If you get brushed off with responses like “I’m fine” or “I’m okay” when you try to broach the subject of mental health, be sure to ask twice and show that you really are interested. Plenty of men feel like they shouldn’t need to ask for help and it’s easy to let the conversation slip away if the concerned party doesn’t press further. In this case, an effective strategy is to make sure you ask them the question a second time.

  • Look into your family history. Having a family history of mental health conditions can put you at a higher risk for developing certain mental health conditions.

  • Reach out for professional help. Adult men in the U.S. are less likely to receive treatment in a given year compares to women: 37% versus 50%.

We must check in on the men in our lives with open and honest dialogue, and encourage them to talk about their emotional and mental well-being. We can encourage healthy habits that support good mental health including, sleep, exercise and proper nutrition. We can ensure they have information about resources available and offer to accompany them. We can follow up. And let them know it's okay to not be okay.


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