Men's mental wellbeing - the paradox
Men are three times more likely to commit suicide compared to women and yet they have greater difficulty in talking about their feelings and their mental wellbeing. The highest suicide rate amongst men is between 45 – 49 years of age. (Source: Samaritans).
I don’t believe that this is because they don’t acknowledge their issues. I believe that this is because they find little room in their lives and in wider society to show any vulnerability and feel accepted if they don’t conform to the stereotypes and expectations of men.
Just like all people, men go through phases in their lives and sometimes they may find themselves in need of help. Often men quote as a reason for not seeking help, that they feel uncomfortable seeking help and that it may be a waste of the professionals’ time.
“Men in trouble are often in trouble precisely because they are trying to Get a Grip and Act Like a Man. We are at risk of suicide because the alternative is to ask for help, something we have been repeatedly told is unmanly. Men die younger than women because, for one thing, we don’t go to the doctor. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.” (Source: How Not To be a Boy by Robert Webb)
It’s time we challenge this narrative and allow men room to seek help and reiterate clearly that it is no one’s waste of time.
Therapy can be a cathartic experience for men where they feel listened to and understand the very reason why they feel uncomfortable seeking help which can offer great relief.
If you need urgent help, please call the Samaritans on 116 123
Facebook - @christinatherapy
Saturday morning appointments are also available.