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National Men's Health Week - Supporting Men's Mental Health

Men's Health Week

Men’s Health Week is June 10-16, 2024. This week is a time for friends, families, businesses, and government officials to raise awareness for the unique challenges men face and provide encouragement to seek help.

Men’s mental health is something that often suffers in silence. Men seek therapy and other mental health resources out at a much lower rate than women. Researchers believe this is not because women experience mental health issues at a higher rate but because of the social stigmas pressuring men into silence. 

Men’s Mental Health Week is a time to raise awareness for the issues facing men and fight to dismantle the harmful stigmas surrounding men’s mental health.

When is Men’s Mental Health Week?

Men’s Health Week was created in 1994 to heighten the awareness of preventable and treatable health issues amongst men and boys. It always encompasses Father’s Day and uses the extra attention given to the men in our lives to further its impact.

Men’s Mental Health Statistic

Men suffer from mental health issues at a lower rate than women, although this could be because men are much less likely to reach out for support. Even with the statistics available to us, there is a gap between the number of men experiencing mental health issues and those seeking treatment. 

Here are some men’s mental health statistics:

The stigma for mental health is stronger around men. Mental health stigma refers to societal disapproval or negative attitudes toward individuals living with mental illness, which can result in stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. This stigma can lead to a reluctance to seek help for emotional distress and can contribute to misinformation and misunderstanding about mental health conditions.

Specifically for men, mental health stigma can manifest in unique ways. Men may feel pressure to uphold traditional gender norms that discourage the expression of vulnerability or seek help for mental health struggles. The stigma surrounding mental health for men can lead to decreased help-seeking behaviors and an increased risk of untreated mental health issues.

Addressing mental health stigma for men involves challenging traditional gender stereotypes and promoting open conversations about mental health. Providing resources and support specifically tailored to the needs and experiences of men can also be beneficial in breaking down stigma and encouraging men to seek help when needed.

Men and Suicide Awareness

Suicide is a deeply concerning issue, particularly for men, as it remains a leading cause of death among this demographic. Understanding the reasons behind this statistic and the importance of suicide and mental health awareness for men is crucial in addressing this pressing issue.

Men often face unique societal expectations and pressures that can contribute to feelings of isolation, stress, and hopelessness. Traditional gender norms may discourage men from seeking help for their mental health struggles, perpetuating silent suffering that can lead to dire consequences. This stigma surrounding help-seeking and emotions can create barriers to accessing necessary support.

By raising awareness about mental health and suicide prevention among men, we can work towards breaking down these barriers. It's essential to emphasize that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Through education, open conversations, and providing resources tailored to men's needs, we can empower men to prioritize their mental well-being and reach out for support when necessary.

Mental health awareness encourages early intervention and treatment, reducing the risk of suicide. Creating a safe and supportive environment where men feel comfortable discussing their emotions and seeking assistance is vital. By fostering understanding, empathy, and compassion, we can make a significant impact in preventing suicide and promoting mental well-being among men.

At Lifebulb, we recognize the urgency of addressing suicide and men's mental health. We are committed to providing informative resources, tailored support, and connecting individuals with highly trained therapists who are passionate about making a difference. Together, let's shatter the stigma surrounding men's mental health, promote awareness, and ensure that every man feels valued, heard, and supported. Remember, reaching out for help is the first step towards a brighter future.

How to Get Involved This Men’s Health Awareness Week

This June, join in the effort to enhance men’s mental health by getting involved, volunteering, donating, or raising awareness. Here are some easy steps you can take this week:

  • Check-in with the men in your life: When was the last time you sat down to have a conversation with your dad, brother, grandpa, partner, or friend? Men are less likely to come to you with their struggles, so bridge the gap by reaching out to them and opening a conversation. 
  • Volunteer: There are many organizations that put together events during Men’s Health Week. Volunteer your time with one of them. A few include:
  • Donate: If you’re able, donating to an organization to raise awareness and accessibility for men’s health can be a huge help. A lot of these organizations are not for profit, meaning they function solely on donations. In addition to the organizations above, these organizations campaign for greater mental health for everyone: 

There are a lot of creative options you could do as well: participate in a men’s health 5k or run, organize an event at your child’s school, or put together a bake sale or car wash to raise money. 

The most important thing you can do though is to check in with the men in your life. It’s not uncommon for men to be socialized to be stoic and silent about their struggles, especially mental health challenges, out of fear of being labeled “weak” or “less than a man.” Make no mistake: struggling with your mental health does not make you weak. In our experience, it is a sign of strength. Mental health issues make everything harder, from getting up to taking care of yourself, going to work, and maintaining social relationships. To continue living with a mental health issue is a strong thing to do. And the courage to reach out for help and work on bettering yourself and your mind is stronger still!

Men’s Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues can impact anyone at any time, it is not unique to men or any other gender. However, there are some unique challenges that men may face more often or more severely. These include:

  • Substance Use: Men are 2-3 times more likely to abuse drugs than women, and are more likely to have an alcohol addiction. Substance use is a “socially acceptable” way for men to handle the stresses of life and mental health disorders. Substance use is also a very common comorbid health issue, meaning it exists in tandem with other health issues. 
  • Suicidal Ideation: Men experience suicide at a much higher rate than women. When mental health issues like depression and anxiety go untreated, they can culminate into feeling like there’s no other way out. Suicide is a huge issue for many men, and shining a light onto it by raising awareness of suicide and encouraging open communication is one way people can be there for them.   
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: The prevalence of PTSD is higher in women than it is in men, but it is still a huge proble, especially for military vets. PTSD is often long-lasting and can have serious mental health effects, including the development of other disorders like anxiety, depression, substance use and suicidal ideation. 

Many of the mental health issues men face are intertwined. When one is not treated, it snowballs into bigger issues further down the road. That’s why Men’s Mental Health Week is so important—by talking about the issues men face and encouraging them to seek help we are saving lives.

How to Support the Men in Your Life

Supporting men through their mental health challenges will look different depending on your relationship with them and what they are struggling with. Here are some easy ways you can help them this men’s health week: 

  • Check-In with them: Creating an atmosphere where they feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about their mental health. This could be somewhere private so no one else can overhear. It can also help by opening the conversation about how you are doing, so they know it is a safe space. Never push someone to talk about their mental health, and try not to label what they are going through. Diagnosing is something only a licensed professional counselor should do. Instead, simply ask them how they are doing, what’s been on their mind, and, if something significant and specific has happened recently, how they have been handling it. 
  • Encourage them to engage in healthy coping mechanisms: Men are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with stresses, which can lead to substance use disorders. Instead, encourage them to try adaptive coping skills like exercise, meditation, therapy, or support groups. 
  • Do fun things with them: Having a strong support system is a protective factor against most mental health disorders. Part of that means having people to turn to when things are hard, but it also means having enriching, fun, supportive people to engage with life with. Not everything has to be a heavy sit down conversation—going for a hike, driving around, and even watching a movie or TV show together can be a way to connect with the men in your life and let them know that you are there for them when they need. 
  • Talk about mental health: One of the reasons why men don’t seek help is because they don’t know what treatment options are out there. By talking about mental health and the different treatment options available in general conversation, you are providing potentially life saving information. Be transparent about your own mental health issues, if you are willing and able to, or talk about the effectiveness of therapy, how hard depression or anxiety can be, and how mental health treatment is so important. 
  • Encourage them to see a professional: At the end of the day, most mental health disorders require the treatment of a trained professional, just like how most physical illnesses need the help of a trained physician. Encouraging the men in your life to seek therapy (or a support group, mediation center, hiking group, anything that will connect them with mental health resources near them) can be life saving. 
  • Take care of yourself: You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. If you have a man in your life who is struggling with their mental health, make sure you have good boundaries and coping mechanisms for yourself. It’s hard to watch someone you love struggle, so don’t forget to get help for yourself if you need it too. 

Supporting the men in your life can be as quick and easy as an “Hey, how are you?”. Mental health issues thrive in isolation and silence. So speak up about mental health to the men in your life, you may be surprised by the stories you hear back. 

Conclusion

This June, and especially June 10-16, raise your voices for men’s mental health awareness. The unique challenges men can face are amplified by the stigma still weighing down many men. Mental health awareness for men is one way we can combat this. 

Lifebulb offers therapy for men that is aware and oriented around men’s unique mental health struggles. For more information, or to schedule an appointment today, contact our support team. Or, find a therapist for men near you using our therapist directory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Men's Health Month is celebrated every year during the month of June, culminating in Men's Health Week, which takes place on the week leading up to and including Father's Day. In 2024 Men’s Mental health week is June 10-16.

 Men are more likely than women to struggle with certain mental health conditions, which can go undiagnosed and untreated, ultimately leading to significant challenges in their lives. Common mental health issues that men may experience include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide.

 Improving men's mental health involves creating supportive environments where masculine norms and stigma surrounding mental health can be challenged and dismantled. Encouraging men to talk about their feelings and prioritize self-care is also crucial for promoting mental well-being. Seeking professional help can be another effective way to manage mental health struggles and reduce the risk of suicide in men. Education, dialogue, and access to resources and support can help men improve their overall mental health.

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