Each June Americans observe Men’s Health Month, a nationwide campaign aiming to promote men’s health and raise awareness of health issues that are increasingly important to males everywhere. Many health conditions can happen to both men and women alike, but unfortunately some illnesses are more prevalent with one sex than the other.
On average, one in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. While these issues can affect individuals of all genders, races, and ages, some conditions are undoubtedly more prevalent amongst males.
Over 6 million men suffer from depression every year, yet male depression often goes undiagnosed. Lower levels of testosterone are oftentimes correlated with depression, stress, and mood swings, especially among older men. In a 2015 report by the CDC, it was reported that males take their own lives at nearly 4x the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides. Men are also more likely than women to develop addiction, with some estimates showing men’s rates of substance abuse nearly twice that of women.
Still, men are significantly less likely to seek treatment and utilize mental health services in response to a mental health issue than women. This is often attributed to a reluctance to talk and/or downplaying symptoms. However, most men feel that there is a societal expectation of them to “man up” and be strong, causing many not to come forth about their mental health struggles because they do not want to be stigmatized.
However, men do not have to go through this alone. We encourage men to speak confidently and comfortably about their mental health conditions, knowing that they are never alone in their fight. Robins’ Nest Counseling & Wellness Centers offer both individual and group counseling to adults of all ages to help them address their concerns in a timely manner and ensure the best possible outcome for the future. As part of Men’s Health Month, we invite the community to join us in creating awareness of the resources available to peers and family members and assist those in need of extra support and guidance.