November 1 marks the official start for what is known as “Movember. We often acknowledge mental health in women but whether you’re a father, husband,brother, or sonyourmental health is just as important. Witha long year that has been impacted by the pandemic, Movemberis a significant event to celebratemen'smental health.
Movemberis a charity that campaigns to raise awareness of serious men’s health issues through the light-hearted and inclusive manner of growing a mustache during the month of November.
By looking at the issue of mental health through a male lens,Movemberencourages men to be more open about mental health issues. The charity also aims to “challenge the negative aspects of masculinity and the impact this can have on mental health.”
The stigma around mental health can be a barrier to seeking treatment, particularly among men who may feel pressured to conform to the ‘strong and silent’ masculine ideal. The fear that mental health problems are a sign of weakness may prevent men from addressing their issues before they reach crisis point.
One in eight menare diagnosed with a mental health problem every yearandone in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.
It can be more commonly referred to as ‘social isolation', loneliness in itssevere forms is now seen as a contributor to many social ills including violence, suicide, and substance abuse.It can be a feeling of sadness about being alone, itcan also happen when you’re surrounded by people.
As the individual can feel alack of connection to the environmentaround you, the lost sense of belonging, and the feeling that nobody understands you.
most commonly associated with working life, stress, depression, and anxiety can be triggered and influencedby any number of situations including at home, social situations, and on the sporting field.
Men’s mental health and suicide
According toAIHW,Over the last decade, the age-standardizedsuicide rate for males increased from 16.2% deaths per 100,000 population in 2011 to 18.6% in 2020.In 2020 there were 2,384 suicide deaths in males (18.6 per 100,000 population) in Australia compared to 755 suicide deaths in females (5.8 per 100,000).It is rather common for men to end their livesprematurely whereas women tend to have moresuicidal thoughts.
A large number of suicidal rates in men is an issue that needs to be addressed. Of course, we should learn to acknowledge mental health for men not only during November but daily.
Traditional male gender roles
The traditional male gender role deters emotional expression asmen are told they need to‘be tough’andnot be too reliant on others. Such rigid gender norms may make it difficult for men to reach out for support when they need it.
Depressionmay be underdiagnosed in men
Men often do not disclose feelings of depression to their doctors. When they do, it is often described in terms of having problems at work or in relationships. Men also tend to describe their feelings as "stress"or “tired”rather than sadness
Men are less likely to seek help for emotional problems
Research suggests that depression is diagnosed less frequently in men because of the tendency to deny illness, self-monitor symptoms, and self-treat
Men canlean towards substance abuse as a coping mechanism
As for the traditional male gender role, men avoid asking for emotional support as a result they utilised other ways to cope with emotion. This can stem fromalcohol and other substances.
Practicing self-help can be the first step into having a good relationship withyourself, that is, your body and mind. Self–care and help practice can includevarious forms of meditation practices, exercising – to rebuild your strength, oreven readingself-helpbooks.
Seeking supportive communities such as support groups can be a way of connecting with others who are going through the same things.Finding something in common with others canbe a way to cope with mental illness and know that you are not alone in this.It alsoallowsmembersof the groupto exchange new methods, skills, and strategies to cope with current challenges. Interaction within a structured group is particularly useful for group members to learn self-care. They can become more communicative and learn how to assert themselves by knowing their rights. Most of all, a support group can help someone with a mental health issue to learn which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
Seeking professional helpis essentialin the self-care processandallows aconversation between a trained mental health professional and someone who wants to talk about their worries and concerns, and/or work through their mental and social health issues.
If you would like to consult or connect with a professional feel free to download our Cyber Clinic app on theApple Storeor onGoogle Play. You may also head toHow it Workson how to download the app. Our practitioners offer Medicare rebates.
Professional counselors, socialworkersor psychologists,aretrained to follow a contextual counseling andproblem-solvingprocess to listen, understand, and help you find ways to feel better.
Feeling better starts by talking to someone. We give you access to online support that can help you feel better. Our therapists can help you manage problems with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, child counselling and much more.
Take our short quiz so we can learn more about you and find out what areas in your life we can help you with.
Asking for help from a stranger is difficult, our app is built to help connect you with psychologists and counsellors that understand your specific needs and are more likely to connect with you personally.
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