top of page

Men's Mental Health: A Silent Epidemic

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Many times, the discussions around mental health tend to overlook a significant demographic: men. Despite society's evolving perspective on mental health, men continue to face unique challenges, often amplified by social constructs of masculinity and stigma.


Men are less likely to seek help for mental health problems compared to women. Consequently, they are more susceptible to severe outcomes like suicide, a situation that calls for an urgent shift in our perception and approach.


The 'Man Up' Syndrome and its Detrimental Effects


One of the core issues lies in the stereotype of 'manliness.' Men are often socialized to suppress emotions, portraying an image of strength and resilience, thus creating the 'Man Up' syndrome. This social construct not only discourages men from discussing their mental health issues but also exacerbates them. The constant pressure to conform to societal expectations leaves men feeling isolated, anxious, and depressed.

 
 

The Silent Crisis: Men's Suicide Rates


The silence surrounding men's mental health has severe ramifications. In a shocking revelation, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that men end their own lives at nearly 4x the rate as women.


This statistic underscores the importance of acknowledging and addressing mental health issues in men.



Mental Health Tips for Men


Now that we have acknowledged the problem, it's time to look at solutions. Here are three evidence-based tips to help men improve their mental health:


Encourage Open Communication


It is crucial for men to share their feelings without fear of judgment. Find a support network, whether it's friends, family, or a mental health professional, to openly discuss your struggles.


Exercise Regularly


Regular physical activity is linked to better mental health outcomes. Research shows that exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel happier and more relaxed.


Prioritize Self-Care


Men should make self-care a priority. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in leisure activities. These actions are shown to reduce stress and improve mental health.


Modern Husbands Podcast


Guest: Mental Health Advocate Justin BirckBichler


A Ballsy Sense of Humor: How to manage your mental health during tough times

Justin shares how he was able to get through cancer during a turbulent marriage, focusing on his mental wellbeing and managing his physical health in the ways he could.


Justin Birckbichler is a men’s health advocate, testicular cancer survivor, and the founder of aBallsySenseofTumor.com. In 2017, ABSOT won an award for the Best Advocacy and Awareness Cancer Blog in 2017 and Justin was recognized as one of 15 People Who Raised Cancer Awareness in 2017. Additionally, Justin was selected as the winner of the Hilarious Patient Leader Category in the 2018 WEGO Health Awards. In 2019, Justin was recognized as one of “40 Under 40 in Cancer.” ABSOT was chosen as one of Healthline’s Best Men’s Health Blogs for 2020 and Justin was also named as one of Cancer Health 25: Change Makers in the same year.


Show notes

0:00-1:30 Intro 1:31-2:54 Justin walks us through what his life was like before he discovered he had cancer 2:55-5:00 Justin shares how he initially managed the cancer diagnosis 5:01-7:55 How Justin was able to focus on his own physical and mental wellbeing while fighting cancer 7:56-10:45 What triggered Justin’s decision to seek the health of mental health experts 10:46-18:43 A few tips Justin believes listeners would benefit from to improve their own emotional well being 18:44-19:30 Final suggestions 19:31-19:58 Conclusion

 

Citations


"American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 'Suicide Statistics.' AFSP, https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/. Accessed 19 June 2023."


Good, G.E., Dell, D.M., & Mintz, L.B. "Male Role and Gender Role Conflict: Relations to Help Seeking in Men." Journal of Counseling Psychology, vol. 36, no. 3, 1989, pp. 295-300.


Griffith, D.M., Gunter, K., & Watkins, D.C. "Measuring Masculinity in Research on Men of Color: Findings and Future Directions." American Journal of Public Health, vol. 102, no. S2, 2012, pp. S187-S194.


"HelpGuide.org. 'The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise.' HelpGuide, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm. Accessed 19 June 2023."


Rutz, W., & Rihmer, Z. "Suicidality in Men—Practical Issues, Challenges, Solutions." Journal of Men's Health, vol. 6, no. 1, 2009, pp. 23-30.


Søvold, Lene E et al. “Prioritizing the Mental Health and Well-Being of Healthcare Workers: An Urgent Global Public Health Priority.” Frontiers in public health vol. 9 679397. 7 May. 2021, doi:10.3389/fpubh.2021.679397

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page