Forbidden to Cry
Displaying behaviour or traits that is considered inherently “masculine” can stop men from feeling comfortable with speaking out about their mental health problems, even with loved ones. This ultimately makes it difficult for men struggling with mental health issues to receive the care and support they need to improve their wellbeing.
Research into men’s mental health suggests that men who feel as though they are unable to speak openly about emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental illness, thus making it less likely that they’ll reach out for support. In 2017, 75% of suicides recorded in Great Britain were males. Today, suicide represents the largest cause of death for men under 50.
This past month we have seen Prince William join with five A-list footballers in a documentary titled ‘Royal Team Talk’ to openly discuss men’s mental health. The participants told their own experiences of holding back feelings and personal issues to appear more masculine. Witnessing these influential celebrities openly discuss mental health issues has sparked a huge responses on social media in support of recognising the importance of mental health. It has also sparked the conversation of the importance of topics such as crying, body image and having to be the breadwinner.
Men’s Mental Health
In last month’s podcast on body image, guest speaker Steven Walker joined us to discuss mental health and body image issues from his point of view as a Personal Trainer and Confidence Coach. Steven shared his experience working with men for the last 15 years in the fitness industry and has witnessed men’s mental health massively improve when focusing on taking care of body image. He opened up about his past experience dealing with the ‘old school mentality of burying your feelings and pushing yourself harder’, which eventually lead him to panic attacks and a breakdown.
In my chat with Jordan Osborne, a boxing events ambassador, he is promoting charity boxing events to raise awareness for men’s mental health. He also addressed how it’s difficult for men to come out with issues when they are suffering because of how traditional gender roles associate masculinity. He spoke about his own experience participating in facilities like Andy’s Man Club which offer men a network of friends and almost an extended family to help them talk about their issues regularly. It’s also a good place to find other men who have shared experiences struggling with similar issues and can offer each other which can make it easier for men to openly discuss their issues. Amongst his peers, Jordan said he had heard a variety of recommendations including, meditation, yoga and boxing to help men deal with stress and anxiety.
Encouraging men to open up about their mental health issues and care for their minds and bodies is helping raise awareness and support for men’s mental health issues. For the month of June, our focus will be on providing more information and tips focused on men’s mental health. Keep your eyes peeled for more to come!
Podcast with Steven Walker, click .
Podcast with Jordan Osborne, click .