Healthy Habits

Men’s Mental Health

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

June is recognized as Men’s Health Month, and a sometimes forgotten, yet essential, piece of good health is addressing mental health and mental illnesses. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 4x as many men as women die by suicide per year, which highlights the importance of men’s mental health.

It has been suggested that mental health often goes untreated among men because they are much less likely to seek treatment than women. Cultural stigma surrounding mental health is one of the biggest obstacles people encounter when struggling and considering seeking help. American men are uniquely faced with traditional masculine norms that reinforce limiting beliefs around their ability to express or feel emotion. The reality is mental illnesses requires time, attention, and professional help – just the same as a physical illness would.

Did you know?

No one is immune to mental illnesses, regardless of their lifestyle or profession. Learn about the following famous athletes’ personal experiences with mental illness:

  • Terry Bradshaw: a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced panic attacks after games and was later diagnosed with clinical depression.
  • Keyon Dooling: an NBA player who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He has since left the NBA and become an advocate for sexual abuse victims.
  • Michael Phelps: the most-decorated Olympic swimmer has shared his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts and how important working with a professional therapist has been for his health.

For all the people who are speaking out or sharing about their struggles, there are many more who are not. You are not alone!

What do I do if I am struggling?

Ask for help and build a support system. Whether reaching out to a trusted loved one or making the first appointment with a licensed professional, know there are people ready to provide support, advice, and space to grow. If you find yourself having suicidal thoughts or serious emotional distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

References
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444121/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mens-mental-health-man-up-is-not-the-answer#Stigma-around-mens-mental-health
https://www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men

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