The greatest evidence of male vulnerability is in suicide statistics. Globally, on average a man dies of suicide every minute of every day. Alarmingly, 6 out of 10 suicides are men Among Canadians of all ages, four of every five suicides are male.
Movember looks at mental health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention and health promotion. We need to work towards a world where men take action to be mentally well, and are supported by those around them.
Mental illness in men is 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.
Because it’s easier for men to acknowledge physical symptoms, rather than emotional ones, their mental health problems can go undiagnosed. Beliefs about masculinity also encourage men’s general lack of interest in health issues; many men simply don’t believe they are susceptible to depression, so why bother learning about it? Also, risky behaviour, seen especially in younger men – including abuse of alcohol and/or drugs and violence – can mask their emotional problems, both from themselves and their physicians.
It’s a known fact that women are more likely to recognize illness of any sort and go to their doctor. This doesn’t mean women are healthier, but that some men don’t always do that. There is also that instilled attitude in our society that men have to be tough and strong. It may also be considered a weakness for men to talk about any mental health concerns. As a result, the social isolation experienced by many men at such a time is believed to a factor in the high rate of suicide in men.
So this Movember, reach out to that male co-worker, friend, spouse, sibling, or other relative who may be silently struggling. If something seems different in their behaviour or appearance, on in some other way, remember to: Check in. Ask. Talk. Listen. Encourage action. You could be saving their life.
Source: Movember Canada