June is Men’s Mental Health Month. While every day is an opportunity for those who may be suffering to help themselves or for loved ones to help those who need it, extra awareness at certain times can be extremely helpful. Men suffer from mental health challenges just like women do, and while there are some troubling differences with regards to their overall view of these difficulties, there are numerous opportunities for men who are struggling to turn things around.
SoCal Empowered has been pushing the men’s mental health effort forward for some time now, and below we’d like to offer some statistical perspective on the state of men’s mental health and other issues before laying out a checklist to consider if you or someone you love is suffering from these difficulties.
Some Troubling Data Regarding Men’s Mental Health
The National Institutes of Health published an analysis of several aspects of men’s mental health a few years ago. It detailed several troubling norms and statistics, including the following:
- Worldwide, men are 1.8 times more likely to commit suicide than women.
- In Western countries, that number increases to 3.5 times more likely.
- Men are less likely to seek mental health help than women.
- Men tend to hold more negative opinions of obtaining mental health help than women.
- Specifically, in Western countries, women are 1.6 times more likely to seek mental health help than men.
It should be noted that not all people who commit suicide have mental health problems, but it is a strong indicator that something is very wrong. In addition, the other statistics paint a realistic and troubling picture of the current state of men’s mental health.
As such, below you’ll find a men’s mental health checklist in the form of questions that, if you answer affirmatively on several of them, could indicate that it’s time to seek some help from professionals.
Does Your Stress Level Seem Overwhelming?
We all have difficult days, weeks, months or even years. A lot of things can lead to tough times, and it’s natural to respond to these periods by feeling stress. However, there’s a difference between feeling stress and feeling overwhelmed, and if you’ve been thinking to yourself that there’s just no way you’re ever going to get your situation under control, you may want to talk to someone about that.
Are You Engaging in Negative Thought Patterns?
Sometimes, we can find ourselves in a vicious circle of thought patterns if we are not careful. We begin to tell ourselves negative, perhaps even terrible things, and we may not always recognize that it’s happening. This can happen when we are overwhelmed or it can just happen, but if you’re constantly thinking about things that make you anxious, nervous or even fearful, take notice.
Are You Having People Problems?
Most of us have at least some people in our lives, whether they are family members, friends, significant others or professional colleagues. Our relationships are important to us, but one sign that men’s mental health may be struggling is when our relationships begin to change. Men may begin to withdraw from close relationships or they may run into recurring conflicts and problems with people in their lives.
Has Your Sleep Routine Changed?
When it comes to men’s mental health, sleep is a bit of a conundrum as it is in many other contexts. Sometimes, our sleep patterns will change because we are suffering from a mental health challenge, while in other situations something like a lack of sleep can lead to mental health problems. The bottom line though, is that if you’ve noticed your sleep routine changing, you should look into that.
Are You Constantly Apathetic?
While this isn’t necessarily limited to men’s mental health, it’s common for people who are suffering from one challenge or another – particularly depression in this specific instance – to start losing interest in things they always enjoyed. If you love your weekly golf game but you stop playing for no real reason, it could be an indication of something deeper.
Has Your Professional Situation Changed For the Worse?
One of the telltale signs of men’s mental health arises when a man who encounters sudden and otherwise-unexplainable problems with his career. Yes, we can all experience things like burnout or become distracted because of personal problems, but if professional circumstances begin to change for the worse without an explanation, mental health could be the explanation.
Has Your Diet Changed?
For the most part, we all tend to fall into some type of dietary routine. Whether we eat as healthy a diet as possible or not, it still exists. If you’ve recently found yourself eating very differently and you can’t explain why, the change could be tied to your mental health.
Are You Keeping Secrets?
It’s interesting that we tend to know what’s happening with ourselves on an instinctive level in many situations, even when we haven’t outwardly perceived something. With regards to men’s mental health, a man who starts engaging in secretive behavior or who starts hiding his thoughts from others could be someone who’s struggling with underlying challenges that need to be addressed.
How SoCal Empowered Can Help
Men’s mental health is something that needs to be improved in the grand scheme of things. We’re moving in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do. The best way for anyone to improve his mental health status is to seek help when it’s advisable to do so. If this includes you, contact our team at SoCal Empowered today. We can help you decide on the best way to proceed, whether that involves a stay with us or not. Regardless, the time to do something about men’s mental health is now, and that starts on the individual level. Give us a call today so we can help you take an important positive step.