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5 ways to break stigma and support men’s mental health

Men face their own barriers when it comes to recognizing and getting help for their mental health including shame, stigma, and lack of research. We know that 1 of every 5 Canadians will struggle with their mental health in any given year — and that number includes men. So it’s time to start breaking barriers and support men’s mental health in a way that addresses the issues at hand.

The landscape of men’s mental health 

Statistics show that men are in need of support for their mental health, now more than ever. In Canada, four of every 5 deaths by suicide are men, and the numbers ring similar across the globe. In the UK, men are 3 times more likely to die by suicide compared to women. They are also 3 times more likely to become dependent on alcohol and use drugs frequently — making them vulnerable to unsafe coping methods. 

5 ways to encourage the men in your life to ask for help

Social norms and ideas about masculinity have made it difficult for men to feel comfortable and safe asking for help. There are many misconceptions about men’s mental health that make men think twice before speaking openly about their struggles. Here are 5 ways to encourage the men in your life to take charge of their mental health. 

  1. Let them know that they are not alone: Statistics show that men are far from alone when it comes to struggling with their mental health.
  2. Emphasize that they are not a burden: Many men may avoid asking for help as they view mental health as something they should have under control. Approach from a place of love and remind them that facing challenges shows strength. 
  3. Explain that mental health is just as important as physical health: Just as we take care of our bodies, we need to take care of our minds too. So while the body needs movement and proper fuel to stay in top shape, the mind has its own needs for maintenance too. Speaking to a doctor or mental health professional can help men determine how to maintain positive mental health. 
  4. Remind them that asking for help is a sign of courage: Asking others for help and guidance is courageous, not weak. 
  5. Fight stigma and spread awareness: Stigma is one of the greatest barriers to men accessing help they need. Through open and honest conversations, we can foster an environment that encourages everyone to access supports.

Men’s mental health support 

It’s common for men to face issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, and relationship concerns. A counsellor can help men navigate their feelings and struggles by identifying areas for improvement, and setting a plan to move forward in a healthy way. 
You deserve counselling that meets your unique needs. Wellin5 can help men begin counselling anywhere, at any time. Get matched with a qualified and experienced counsellor in just 5 minutes. Get started.