June 15 – 21, 2020

As part of National Men’s Health Week, the Men’s Health Network (MHN) is dedicated to provide medical screenings and educational resources for males of all ages. With these efforts, the MHN hopes to raise awareness and prioritize men’s health as a family issue. However, while a majority of men’s health problems involve physical diseases that can be preventable, it is also important to recognize the significance of mental health initiatives for men as well. 

Especially during these past few months, the issues of behavioral and mental health have become more apparent to the public, as everyone has been stuck at home and society is facing social changes that will permanently affect the way we interact with one another on a daily basis. Often labeled as the silent killer, over 6 million men in just the United States experience depression each year(1) and these cases often go undiagnosed (1). This is because of the cultural stigma put in place by social norms that have made it difficult for men to feel comfortable reaching out to others for advice, help and guidance. As a result of this reluctance, men are 4x more likely to commit suicide than women (2), making it one of the top ten leading causes of death for males in the U.S.(2). Additionally, societal pressures such as toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes contribute to the lack of resources made available to men. These social expectations negatively impact males and their ability to recognize symptoms of depression, acknowledge the severity of the problem and pursue medical treatment. 

Although men are much more likely to dismiss preventative healthcare services (2), it is critical to understand the why behind their actions as well as advocate for the recognition of their feelings. Whether it be making healthy lifestyle choices, learning how to better manage stress, establishing life goals, participating in activities you enjoy or seeking personal comfort, all of these are best practices for men to follow in order to develop overall mental and emotional wellness. Together with the MHN, Raintree promotes the advocacy of men’s mental health and encourages you to spread awareness, encouragement and support to any male figures in your life. 

Some signs leading towards the beginning development stages of depression include weight loss, mood changes, headaches, fatigue and feelings of sadness, hopelessness or loss of interest. Here are some educational and medical resources for men to learn more about how to better navigate their mental health. 

http://www.mhascreening.org/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/men-and-mental-health/index.shtml#part_158736

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

https://nami.org/Support-Education

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-men.htm

Informational Sources: 

(1) https://www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men

(2) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mens-health.htm