June is recognised as Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month to address specific challenges and barriers men face.
BUT, have you heard anybody talking about them? Exactly! This is the reason why I don't take part in equality conversations because they are as unequal as my brother's teeth were at the age of five.
Where are all those caring women and HR (female) shouting from the rooftop "Men's mental health matters! Men matter! We all matter!"?
March was different though, women's agendas were coming out of the tap. Once I asked my HR VP during the International Women's Day celebration if we were going to do something like that on the 19th of November for men, and the answer was a NO. So I stay away from every agenda, group, celebration etc.. the word women has in it.
So let me give you some statistics that may help you to check in with your male friends and family members.
77% of men polled have suffered from common mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress or depression
40% of men have never spoken to anyone about their mental health
29% of those who haven't done so say they are "too embarrassed" to speak about it, while 20% say there is a "negative stigma" on the issue
The biggest cause of mental health issues in men’s lives are work (32%), their finances (31%) and their health (23%)
40% of men polled said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help
Though men account for about 10% of patients with bulimia or anorexia, men with an eating disorder are less likely to seek professional help.
Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year, but male depression often goes underdiagnosed.
More than 3 million men in the US have panic disorder, agoraphobia, or any other phobia.
2.3 million Americans are affected by bipolar disorder and an equal amount of men and women develop the illness. The age of onset for men is between 16 to 25 years old.
One of the leading causes of disability in America is schizophrenia. Approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed and 90% of those who are diagnosed by age 30 are men.
The list goes on yet we hear very little about it. Men suffer in silence. Believing they can deal with it, not wishing to burden anyone, embarrassment, stigma, not wanting to appear weak, and having no one to talk to are all reasons given as to why men chose to suffer on their own and in silence.
So here is a video in case nobody has checked in with you recently.