Updated: Nov 5, 2022
Unfortunately, the link between mental health and being weak is an unhealthy one. It is presumed, that if you can't cope mentally then you are not worthy or are somehow inferior. I feel this statement is particularly true for males. Males are always told to 'man up', implying that having emotions or showing emotion is a bad thing.
Showing emotion, having emotions is natural and learning how to handle them is a key life skill.
I have found, upon speaking to important male figures in my life that when they were growing up, emotions was never a priority, but learning how to provide for a family was. It raises the question, are we only supposed to provide money for our families? What about emotional strength and intelligence?
Upon further research, it was evident that societal expectations and traditional gender roles play a key role in why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health problems. It is heavily discussed and criticised what gender stereotype is expected from awoman - for example, how we look or behave. This is known to be damaging to our mental health. However, it is also important to view it from a male's perspective, the expectations that are put on them by society - how does this affect them mentally?
Men are often expected to be providers, strong, dominant and always in control. Theoretically these aren't bad things, but they can create a hard exterior which make opening up difficult for a male. If a man cannot open up about his feelings, perhaps that suggests why males find it difficult to reach out for support, they do not recognise the symptoms of bad mental health within themselves.
So Change Family, how do we encourage men to reach out when they need? How do we break the stigma behind men having to always be tough. It is not easy. I am sure if you are a man and you are reading this it probably seems impossible what I am asking.
Ready to change your mindset? Let's do it together