top of page
  • Think Happy Live Healthy

Breaking Down the Stigma: Addressing Men's Mental Health Month



Mens Mental Health Month

Summer is here! Kids are out of school and there is a sense of excitement in the air. It is time for vacations, being outside more, and increased time with family and friends. Of course, we would be remiss to not mention the chaos that can often occur with the adjustment of schedules and/or the lack of routines and then trying to navigate the resulting challenges that ensue. Regardless of what your upcoming plans look like, we want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable time with loved ones this summer.


This month we celebrated Father’s Day, recognizing the important roles that fathers and father figures play in our lives. Whether it is an annual family tradition that you participate in or you choose to celebrate the holiday differently each year, there are many ways that we can show our appreciation. One very important thing that we can do is to encourage the men in our lives to take care of themselves. Each year in June, Men’s Mental Health Month is observed, which continues to bring awareness and acknowledgement that mental well being is an integral part of men’s health. Asking for support can be difficult in general, with men facing an even greater challenge due to the increased stigma they face. As such, there can be hesitancy to speak about mental health issues, with men unfortunately suffering in silence. The statistics speak for themselves. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in the United States, ​suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall, with males accouting for 79% of people who die by suicide. Being mindful of this increased stigma for men can help give us important context and enhance our sensitivity when having these conversations with our loved ones. 


June is also Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD is a mental health condition that people can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. While not an exhaustive list, an individual with PTSD can develop symptoms that involve re-experiencing the event (i.e. intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares), avoidance behaviors (i.e. staying away from places/things that are a reminder of the traumatic event), cognitive/mood symptoms (i.e. difficulty remembering the event, feelings of guilt, depression, worry), and arousal symptoms (i.e. hypervigilance). Complex PTSD can result from experiencing repeated or ongoing trauma over a long period of time. Younger children can also develop PTSD and their symptoms may present differently than adults. Of course, it is crucial to acknowledge that military personnel are also greatly impacted by PTSD. According to the National Center for PTSD, 7 out of every 100 veterans will have PTSD at some point in their life, in comparison to the general population, with 6 out of every 100 adults having PTSD in their lifetime. In recognition of both men’s mental health and PTSD awareness, we wanted to share with you a list of resources that focus on these important issues. While this is just a sampling and not an all inclusive list, we hope that these podcasts, websites, articles, and books can give you a starting point for increasing your awareness and understanding to help support you and your loved ones.


Podcasts:


PTSD Bytes (A Veterans Affairs podcast series that focuses on how technology can support individuals with PTSD and other mental health conditions): https://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/professional/tech-care/podcast.asp


Hope Starts with Us (NAMI podcast series): Specifically, the recent What It Means to "Man Up" episode focuses on Men’s Mental Health awareness month and how mental health impacts veterans and service members:


Websites of Reputable Organizations:


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)


Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)


US Department of Veterans Affairs:


Articles: 


Men’s Mental Health: 11 Tips for Taking Care of Your Whole Self (Cleveland Clinic): https://health.clevelandclinic.org/tips-for-taking-care-of-mens-mental-health


Coping with PTSD by Matthew Tull, PhD (Verywell mind): https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-with-ptsd-2797536 


Books:


The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk: This book explores the effects of trauma on the body and mind, offering insights into the ways trauma can be healed.


Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker: This author is a therapist and survivor of C-PTSD himself, who provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and recovering from complex trauma.


Better Boys Better Men by Andrew Reiner: This book discusses how modern masculinity is harmful and holding back society and how promoting a new masculinity that allows men of every age to thrive.


To find support groups:




Additional resources to support children:


National Child Traumatic Stress Network: https://www.nctsn.org/ 


 


Let this be the month where you decide to prioritize your mental health. Please contact us at info@thinkhappylivehealthy.com or call us at 703-942-9745 for more information.


30 views0 comments

Komentar


bottom of page