For decades, men have experienced dismissal when it comes to mental health. It has only been in recent years that we have started to see change. More of us are listening and no longer rejecting conversations that we may find difficult or uncomfortable.
The times are changing!
Times began to change when well-known male figures such as Prince Harry and Prince William, started to open up about their mental health challenges. Just like that, more men stepped forward; including footballers and actors showing that it is okay to be brave and speak out. Having role models that men look up to, begin to open up publicly, can give the confidence to others to express how they are feeling. Celebrities being more comfortable talking about mental health, is also encouraging. Men can see that they are not alone in their struggles.
The more mindfulness that spreads and we start to normalize the fact that it can be hard to manage stress and everyday demands then further men will step forward. The most important message is that there is hope, and things do get better.
Awareness, engagement and education are helping men to open up. Having a simple conversation about what is going on in those around you lives means you can open the gate to any stresses or difficulties they may have. As a nation, we are starting to understand that men are just as susceptible to anxieties and other forms of poor mental health as women.
In the workplace
Employers need to implement support in the workplace since 66% of men suffer from work-related stress. Many men work in environments where a competitive and macho culture exists. This can prevent them from feeling like they can open up and discuss topics that aren’t seen in this type of society as ‘normal’. Companies beginning to offer wellness services will kick the macho culture to the curb and create a more caring environment.
The more we talk and listen to each other, the more normalized mental health will become.
Here are some links for more information and support:
The Mix – Support and advice for under 25s
By Eleanor Coleman