We need to support men’s mental health more


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Instead of leaving men to internalize their issues, there should be more support systems for men to access and get help from.

Anxiety and depression can be considered two of the most common mental health issues in the world. Both men and women can suffer from these issues, and we need to break the stigma surrounding men and mental health.

The fact that mental health for the most part seems to only be talked about by women from women’s perspectives makes it seem like men’s perspectives on mental health are non-existent. This could not be any further from the truth.

The most recent example of a lack of discussion of men’s mental health is Stephen Boss, also known as Twitch from “The Ellen Show,” who died by suicide on Dec. 13, 2022. Nobody knew that he was struggling mentally until it was too late. Unfortunately, this goes to show how it is for most men. 

A lot of men feel like they have no one to talk to, especially because of the stigma surrounding men and mental health, according to Healthline. The stigma is that they have to act tough and can not show emotion; otherwise, they are considered weak. Due to this, some men do not show emotion often but when they do, they have a harder time letting it out, due to the “act tough” mentality.

Sophomore operations management and information systems major Wyatt Smith feels that he does not really express or show emotion.

“I’ve internalized it, which I know is probably the worst thing possible, but I typically solve some of my stressors or emotional problems by just kind of internalizing them,” Smith said. “I don’t really express my emotions often or a lot.”

The stigma surrounding men and mental health needs to be broken. One way for this is to talk about men’s mental health more on social media, by using social media to say that it’s OK for men to be vulnerable and show emotion. People can even follow accounts that speak out about men’s mental health, such as Yung Pueblo

On social media, we see more women speaking on mental health. While that’s a good thing, wouldn’t it be nice to have more men speak out about mental health? Shouldn’t men make a difference not only in the mental health community, but in society overall?

Shouldn’t we use social media as a platform for good and to make some real change?

Junior applied math major Dylan Ruan explains that we can teach people that mental illness affects both men and women.

“Since emotions and mental issues were traditionally thought of as a feminine issue, I would make sure to teach that mental illness does not discriminate,” Ruan said.

With this being said, there are many ways to get through mental health issues, aside from therapy. Some examples are doing stress-relieving activities such as meditation, listening to music or even physical activity. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or need someone to talk to, the Suicide & Crisis Hotline is 988. NIU also has Counseling and Consultation Services in the Peters Campus Life Building in Room 200. Help is just a phone call away. You are never alone.