The eleventh month of the year may be known universally as November, but for men, there is also the added significance of Movember. If you are not aware of this movement, it began as an initiative to support and raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer, suicide prevention, and men’s mental health in general.
While discussions are definitely helpful, the movement also consists of something tangible to do in the form of growing moustaches from the start of the month all the way to the end. The growth of the moustache symbolises just how much one supports men’s health, but is also a fun way to keep your facial hair game on point!
Men’s Mental Health
Outside of the fun, there are serious issues to tackle when it comes to men and their mental health. More accurately known as your emotional, psychological, and mental well-being as a whole, this is an area of healthcare that is not just limited to the fairer gender.
Men can also struggle with issues of self-worth, together with all the different stressors and societal pressures around them. This is made even more apparent with the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the problem due to the lack of social interactions and increasing isolation.
The rise of suicide in men, now the second leading cause of death for those aged 18 to 44, is a big problem, and knowing that 70% of suicides in Singapore for 2020 were men points towards a pressing issue in need of addressing.\
Why Are Suicide Rates High Amongst Men?
In terms of the unique problems faced by men, there can be many different factors that could contribute to the high rate of suicides. However, the general consensus centres on the problem of image and presentation.
Men are expected to be manly and macho, able to take on all sorts of responsibilities and problems, even on the emotional front, which is hardly the case for anyone. The lack of avenues or general disdain for men to show emotions or weaknesses also contributes to the problem.
In such trying times, knowing how to care for oneself is important to maintaining healthy mental, emotional, and psychological well-being. Despite the pandemic, try your best to connect with your loved ones and stay socially active, even if it is just through texting.
Should you need to unload your worries and stress, talk to a friend, counsellor, or even a mentor. Always be willing to take breaks and avoid any potential triggers, and for those going through a challenging time, understand that it is absolutely okay to express your emotions.
As long as you are giving yourself the space and the room to take care of your emotions, you are helping to reduce anxiety and the potential of depressive thoughts.
How to Help Someone Facing Mental Health Issues
If you are in a position to help someone facing such problems, it is wise to remember you can always “reach out with ALEC.” This acronym can be broken down in the following ways:
Ask the individual how they are feeling, and encourage conversation and self-expression.
Listen to the individual, let them know you are there for them and not there to judge them, having someone there makes a world of difference.
Encourage action. Encourage them to do things that will make them feel better or speak to professionals. Even the simple things matter.
Check in regularly and have conversations to let them know you care and is there for them no matter what they are going through.
Everyone Deserves to Feel Good
Mental health is something that should be important for everyone, and that includes all the men out there as well. In such unpredictable times, it is important for all of us to stick together, and to care about each other. Only then can we hope to triumph over adversity and challenges that come our way.
Let’s dispel the stigma of mental health this Movember, and be better altogether today!
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