The Importance of Shining a Spotlight on Men’s Mental Health
17th November, 2022 by Ellie Carpenter
International Men’s Day recognises and celebrates the contributions of men to our society. It is a much-needed opportunity to shine a light on men’s mental health and to learn what we can do to support them.
Despite taking significant steps to shift the outlook on mental health, there remains to be a stigma around that of men. Occupying two-thirds of top roles in employment, men can sometimes be overlooked due to the perception that they have no significant sources of stress.
Men are more likely to experience violence from other men in public places. They often face divorce and custody bias – typically in favour of women. It’s shown that, despite male victims of violent crimes being 1.5 times more likely, these cases aren’t handled with the same severity as those with female victims in many instances. Additionally, there is a stark contrast in the number of domestic violence resources available to men and women – with men receiving less. The traditional view of males as the ‘strong ones’ and the ‘breadwinners’ puts a great deal of pressure on their shoulders, a large proportion of that being financial worries.
The majority of us have male figures in our lives, whether partners, family members or friends. So, I’m sure you are used to the standard “I’m fine” response when asking how they are. It’s this bottling up of emotions that can quickly lead to loneliness. That said, this isn’t a competition of ‘who has it worse’. It’s important to remind people that everyone faces their own struggles.
We must all play a part in fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can reach out if they are struggling with mental health issues. Checking in with those around us can go a long way. It may be the push that people need to open up about a struggle they’re facing or a worry at work. However, it’s important to remember that no one should feel pressured. It’s about nurturing a safe space to begin the conversation.
If we are to achieve an equal society, we need to acknowledge and support the mental health of the men in our community.