“I’ve learnt to deal with it."
"I don’t want to burden anyone."
"I don’t want to admit I need support."
"I don’t want to appear weak."
Many of us men have suppressed our emotions and continue to work each day, living our lives while our mental health deteriorates.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, "It’s being called a silent crisis, a sleeper issue. But there are signs that this sleeper is at last awakening. Around the world studies, surveys, web networks, journals and newspaper articles are shedding light on a shadowy subject: Men’s Mental Health."
We took this topic to our founders of Sirocco Fan to share their thoughts and open up the conversation towards Men's Mental Health.
What does Men's Mental Health mean to you?
The focus of men's mental health is a topic that we seldom paid attention to. We find ourselves pooled into societal and cultural norms where it is often frowned upon and the stigma that still exists surrounding mental illness. Not to mention, the pressure on men in being viewed as always having to be strong. These risk factors results in a lot of men struggling to admit that they may need help.
Most of the time, we find ourselves saying yes, more than no, just to please others, instead of putting our state of mind first. We avoid any signs or symptoms of depression and burry our thoughts and feelings into work instead of acknowledging that our mental health care is important too.
It is important to start paying attention to these emotions and work on bettering yourself before others. Suppressing negative feelings and how we truly feel, eventually builds up and this deteriorates our mental health.
We avoid these unfavourable emotions and carry on our days and live our lives while our mental health deteriorates. For some of us, it takes burnout or something significant to realize that it is not healthy . Yes, it is important to pay attention to these emotions and work on listening to your mind and emotions.
Challenges and issues men face
Being business owners as well as entrepreneurs comes along with responsibilities that can also contribute to stress factors. These stress factors can play a significant role in one's mental health. Issues can arise daily and we'll need to figure out how to tackle them without letting them bring you down.
There is also a stigma surrounding the mindset that men don’t do this and think of it as a sign of weakness when in reality it’s a strength. Little does one know that it is courageous to seek professional help for your mental health.
Some of us may have mornings where it can be hard to get out of bed and start the day with everything weighing on one's shoulders. Working on realizing that something minor like this, can cause a ripple effect to ones the mental state. After all, like many of us, it can be a challenge to switch off from work and enjoy the moment with friends and family!
There are also a few of us who are used to closing up our feelings and choosing to fight our battles alone. Some of us may have this mentality instilled while growing up that there is nothing anyone else can do for you other than yourself. Once again, this becomes a challenge especially for men as we tend to keep to ourselves rather than ask for help or open up.
Furthermore, society's expectations and traditional gender roles play a role in why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health problems. Gender stereotypes about women and the idea they should behave or look a certain way do not help solve this issue as well. With that, it is important to understand that men can be mentally damaged by stereotypes and expectations as well.
Having a solid support system around you is one of the most important things. Start by surrounding yourself with family and friends that will uplift and support you instead of bringing you down.
It's alright to express your emotions and to talk about them instead of keeping them in. Some of us get used to wanting to do everything and fix every issue, but sometimes things are beyond our control and we need to accept that.
A few other suggestions include:
- Seeking professional help through therapy
- Creating support groups with like-minded individuals
- Raising awareness in being advocates supporting men
- Writing down how you feel and having a safe space for yourself to be open about how you are feeling.
We hope that this inspires anyone who is going through any mental health challenges to seek the help they need. Our inboxes are always open and we are always open to the conversation surrounding mental health.