Although the conversation about general mental health has gotten louder in recent years, talk of men’s mental health continues as hushed whispers behind closed doors.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is shouting through the silence by raising awareness of mental health in men and boys during this year’s annual Mental Health Week (May 4-10).
The message? Men are not immune. Men struggle with mental health too. And most importantly, these challenges do not make men weak.
Research indicates that rates of mental health and addiction challenges are almost equal amongst men and women in Canada. But yet, 4 out of 5 victims of suicide in Canada are male.
Stigma, or the manifestation of discriminatory beliefs against a group of people, is a universal experience for people experiencing mental health challenges. They are often called crazy, violent, lazy, or weak. For men, this goes one step further. According to Westernized characterizations of “manliness” – men are strong, tough, and independent. Men aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings, they shouldn’t crack under pressure, and they should never need help.
This societal attitude creates an environment that leaves little room for conversation about men’s mental health. Men are often struggling in silence alone without diagnosis or treatment.
But you can help break the silence and GET LOUD in support of mental health for men and boys.
On April 27th, CMHA Niagara Branch in partnership with the Niagara Anti-Stigma Committee, Pathstone Mental Health, District School Board of Niagara and Niagara Catholic District School Board will host the annual Mental Health Week Event.
The event includes a mental health fair of community organizations and allied supporters, followed by keynote speakers from three strong, loud, and “manly” men, all of which have a personal connection to mental health challenges.
So, come on guys, get loud! It’s about time.
Mental Health Wellness Coordinator
Pathstone Mental Health