As June marks Men’s Mental Health Month, we need more open conversation on the unique mental health challenges faced by men, particularly within the Indian context. Throughout my years of clinical practice, I have observed firsthand how societal expectations, the pressure to earn and the pressure to be “strong and silent” uniquely affect men’s mental health.

In a recent article, “Money, Men, and Murder,” published in Midday [23.06.2024], I discuss the dire consequences of financial stress and societal pressures on men, leading to extreme actions and mental health crises. The article highlights real-life cases where economic strain and traditional gender roles have contributed to violent outbursts and severe mental health issues. Read the full article here.

Similarly, another article I had written in 2020 “Men, Mental Health, and the Reluctance to Seek Help” for the health platform PatientsEngage, had me speak to fellow therapists for their views, and to understand if reluctance in help-seeking among men is as evident as proclaimed. Most therapists aligned with the view that the gender ratio in their practice was skewed, with twice or thrice the number of women approaching a therapist compared to men. The article explores the cultural and societal barriers that prevent men from seeking mental health support. Traditional masculinity norms often contribute to a reluctance in seeking help, making it crucial to create supportive environments that encourage men to open up about their struggles. Read the article here.

Breaking the silence

We know how important it is to address the stigma surrounding men’s mental health. Many men are conditioned to be stoic and self-reliant, which can lead to significant mental health challenges when they feel they cannot meet these expectations. This reluctance to seek help often exacerbates their issues, making it crucial for us to have open conversations about men’s mental health.

Normalizing therapy and opening up conversations in social spaces can provide men with the tools they need to manage their mental health effectively. By encouraging men to seek help and showing that vulnerability is a strength, we can work towards reducing the stigma around men’s mental health.

Let’s use this Men’s Mental Health Month to break the silence, support the men in our lives, and promote healthier, more open discussions about mental well-being.

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References:

  1. Mid-Day Article on Financial Stress and Men’s Mental Health
  2. PatientsEngage Article on Men’s Mental Health
  3. Health Issues India on Men’s Mental Health