Stark differences in how we Men’s mental health
Mental health is just as important for men as it is for women, but men often struggle to talk about their mental health challenges. In fact they are far less likely to seek treatment than women for their mental health issues.
According to the CDC, a little over one in four women (25.6%) received any mental health treatment in the past 12 months, compared with 14.6% of men. In addition, women were more likely than men to have taken medication for their mental health (21.2% and 11.5%, respectively) and to have received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional (12.1% and 7.9%, respectively) in the past 12 months.
Why aren’t men seeking mental health treatment?
There are a number of reasons why men struggle with getting help for their mental health:
- Social stigma: Men are often taught that they should be strong and tough, and that showing weakness is a sign of being a failure. This can make it difficult for men to admit that they are struggling with mental health problems because they don’t want to be seen as weak or “less of a man” if they admit to having problems.
- Gender roles: Men are often socialized to believe that they should be strong and stoic, and that they should not show emotions such as sadness or fear. This can make it difficult for men to cope with mental health problems, as they may feel like they are not allowed to express how they are feeling.
- Access to care: Men may have less access to mental health care than women. This is due to a number of factors, such as the fact that men are less likely to seek help, and that there are fewer mental health providers who specialize in working with men.
Benefits to mental health care for men
The good news is, there are things that can be done to help men with their mental health. Some of these things include:
- Challenging the stigma: It is important to challenge the idea that men should be strong and tough. Men should be able to express their emotions without being judged.
- Building social support: Men should build a strong network of support, including friends, family, and professionals. This can help them cope with stress and difficult life events.
- Learning to express emotions: Men should learn healthy ways to express their emotions. A therapist can offer coping tools and ideas for healthy ways to express emotions clearly and effectively. This can help them to deal with their mental health problems in a productive way.
If you are a man who is struggling with your mental health, there is help available. Please reach out to a mental health professional or a trusted friend or family member. You don’t have to go through this alone.