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Men’s Mental Health – 5 Productive Steps

November has come and with it some increased attention to men’s mental health.

Upper lips are fuzzier and as a result, shavers gather dust across Canada. The cause is increasing awareness of men’s cancers and mental health.

The Facts About Men’s Mental Health

Men’s mental health is often neglected. Social perception can play a role in causing negative thinking. The need to attain a “strong man” perception pressures Men to act a certain way. This requires them to be stoic and emotionless. As a result, men frequently do not seek help for stress, anxiety, and depression. This can compound stressors, without any identified treatment options.

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 75% of all suicides are men. The World Health Organization reports that globally, every minute a man dies by suicide.

Helping can be as simple as 5 steps:

  • Talk.
  • Ask.
  • Listen.
  • Encourage action.
  • Check-in.

Talk

Opening up about personal mental health challenges can be difficult due to social conditioning that pressures Men to hide vulnerability. But when you talk about your own mental health, it makes it easier for others to open up as well. Together we can support one another.

Ask

A simple statement followed by a direct question can be the opportunity a man needs to seek mental health help.  For example, a question like “I feel like you’ve been under some stress lately.  Are you doing ok?”, can start the conversation to help a man in distress.

Listen

When you make the effort to support a man experiencing mental health challenges, listening to their concerns openly and without judgment allows for a safe discussion to occur. Advice can be helpful when solicited. Therefore, providing a forum to listening and expressing concern can sometimes be the best support.

Encourage Action

A man in crisis may require more than just a cathartic discussion. Encourage action to improve mental health, such as seeking out a mental health professional.

Check-In

Continue to support a man who has confided in you by checking in on a regular basis. Follow each of the steps again, and above all show men that it’s ok to talk about mental health.

Men's mental health advocate
Men's mental health advocate

A few of Altum Health champions for Men’s mental health. Ben Matthie (pictured left) Joseph Guirguis and Chris Jackson (Pictured right).

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