How to support the men in your life with their mental health
From MIND ” Mental Health Charity”
- Men are now almost 3 times more likely to see a therapist if they are worried compared to 2009
- 2 in 5 men admit to regularly feeling worried or low, an increase since 2009
- The number of men experiencing suicidal thoughts has doubled since 2009
By Mark, Mind in Harrow focus group participant
From childhood boys are told to keep quiet about emotions and that men dont talk to each other.. its became tiring and I became very withdrawn. I felt forced to conform.
I love that there is a month dedicated to men’s mental health. It is needed! It needs more noise.
Because even though people understand the importance of it, I believe that a lot of men still don’t feel like they can open up. Maybe because of other male influences around them or maybe it’s something that still makes them feel uncomfortable.
Whatever the reason, let’s work to create spaces where men feel safe enough to be vulnerable in whatever way suits them best! more attention and definitely more awareness
Here are some tips on how to support men in your life who may be struggling with their mental health
Deep conversations… Not only can they be super interesting, but a random deep conversation about anything really, can reveal a lot about a person’s worldview and mentality. This can be beneficial when talking to a man who doesn’t like to talk about their emotions, about
themselves much, or you simply just don’t have any idea what’s going on in their head 99% of the time.
Ask by sharing…you might suspect that your husband, dad, brother, or friend is going through something specific but they won’t open up. When you ask, they simply say, “I’ll be alright” or “ we keep it pushing,” even though they may drop subtle clues that something is wrong. So try sharing instead.
That is, if you can relate to what it is that you think they might be going through. For example, you might notice that your uncle seems overworked, overwhelmed and mentally drained. You might have experienced anxiety at some point and occasionally still do, when your work-life balance is off, too much to handle and getting up for work every day feels like the biggest struggle. Instead of continuously asking your uncle about it, you could find the opportunity to share about that experience. What you learned about yourself during that time, and what might have helped you. You might find that they end up relating and opening up a little bit or sharing their opinion, which might shed light on what they think on the matter. This could give you insight into what might be going on in their minds.
Additionally, you never know what seed you might plant in their mind, even if they don’t share anything at all. The whole point is not to be pushy but to create an environment where they will naturally start to feel like they want to share or that they can if they want to. However, we also have to applaud the increasing number of men who are opening up more and realising the value of mental health; let’s keep it going!
Visit Mind website for more information, services and facts about men’s mental health
At My Solution Wellbeing, we love supporting those who need guidance and are ready to take that first step towards self-development and healing.
By Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being.
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