Opinion: Men’s mental health month: Unrecognised and under the radar.
As autumn comes to a close and Christmas draws closer, one key and important month comes around and yet is downplayed and causes uproar and waves of controversy, Men’s Mental Health Month. November houses this important month with international men's day falling on the 19th and yet when we look on the news and other informative platforms we don’t hear a whisper, no front cover no headlines just a mere article hidden away in a newspaper. I find this quite abhorrent because in this current year of ours, 2022, we celebrate everyone and everything- we are all inclusive, so how come when it comes to men and their mental health, it gets downplayed and thrown to the side, like a toddler with a Christmas present they dislike even though every other month gets huge recognition?
Men’s current mental health is at an all time low and the suicide rates are skyrocketing and even with this information which should be widely known but is not given enough publicity, the moment we try to recognise this problem and solve it, it gets shut down quicker than it is brought up.
So why is this happening?
Why are men having their mental health being treated worse each year? How come every other month is celebrated but this one is the black sheep?
Men are strong creatures by nature born with masculinity yet the more years that pass the less and less traditionally masculine they get and the more and more emotionally and mentally unstable they get. A common and damaging stigma that is plaguing society in this age is men being expected to be strong and while that is something I personally agree with, at the same time, men should be allowed to be emotionally vulnerable because often times the mental health issues that men often have are overlooked and undermined with simply being told to “man up”, this doesn’t make us feel better but just makes it worse because society expects us to shrug it off and keep working.
Did you know that the current male suicide is 17.6%. That means that 17.6% of males out of 100,000 commit suicide.
Now the difference is shocking and alarming because in my opinion it shows how men are less cared for and treated worse in society as a whole with negligible support and just expected to get on without any help with their mental health, on the other hand it is clear and undeniable that women get more support and more attention in the media and society as a whole which is a good thing but with equality being pushed so much it’s questionable when it’s obvious that men need support and are not receiving an equal amount which is also not helped by the fact that men are generally seen as bad and painted in a bad image with any act of masculinity being labelled as toxic and getting attacked.
But enough with the negative, even with the lack of recognition there is still hope for men and their mental health with there being a little more recognition and support coming over time. One example of expressing this month, is the participation in Movember which is an annual event which raises awareness for men’s health issues such as; prostate cancer, testicular cancer and hoping to reduce men’s suicide rates. This event is participated in by men all over the globe and has raised in 2021 alone over £14 Million, this charity raises awareness and charity for men’s health in general including men’s mental health.
So we need to recognise that men are still suffering, more awareness needs to be raised for the wellbeing of men rather than swiping this event under the rug and it hurts men more than it should to. But, to end this article on a positive note it’s great that every year men’s mental health month gets more and more recognition as well as people understanding that it’s time we all equally celebrate everyone's events because in the end we are all equal and should treat each other the same way!
If you are struggling with mental health, there is always help available. The link to Samaritans is here
Call 116 124 any time, any day, for free, and there is someone to help