Mental Health has been a prominent topic recently however masculinity is commonly neglected as part of the conversation. Men’s Mental Health is a hard topic to bring up due to the fact most men find it difficult to speak about their feelings. It is then frequently overlooked.
Men are under a heavy stigma to conceal their emotions as showing signs of discomfort is seen as weakness.
This “Man Up” stereotype has been built up over centuries and now is taking a huge toll on men’s mental health. Last year resulted in the year male suicidal rates hit at an all-time high in the past twenty years.
Overall problem in Men’s mental health
The struggles men face in their mental health usually stems from not being able to reach out for help. Men are accustomed to keeping their feelings to themselves preventing people from knowing that they are struggling.
Without awareness of their struggles external support can not be offered to men. Melanie Griffin, suicide and self‑harm prevention coordinator at The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, said
‘They’ll bottle things up, so it’s really important to try to get our men to open up and talk. They’re told that they’ve got to be strong, to ‘man up’ and have a stiff upper lip, so it’s really important that we try to break that [stereotype].’
Men in Engineering are less likely to reach out for help
Men in engineering have been proven to ask for less help than female engineers.
This can be commonly attributed to their “man up” stereotype in which seeking for help would make them look weak. They would rather struggle with a problem than get support from someone with more expertise. An article by The Conversation states,
“they suggest men are less likely to reach out to others for knowledge or expertise. This serves as a disadvantage to men, as they will potentially make less informed or less knowledgeable decisions.”
TikTok gives men a platform to speak about their mental health
TikTok has allowed a lot of us to have a platform to share funny jokes, creative ideas and showcase our skills.
Another important thing it has allowed us to do is quickly spread awareness. Multiple men such as Thill have used their platform to give spotlight to these issues they face. This is further expanded on WebMD,
“And although numerous women on the app are working toward the same goal, Thill and his male counterparts represent a voice in the social media space that didn’t exist until recently – a voice that’s sorely needed.”
We’ve spoke about it, now how do we help?
It is one thing spreading awareness on the situation. We also need to be able to give solutions to the problems men may face.
In order for men to seek help, workplaces must have set procedures. The HR Director creates a list in how we can help by stating,
“companies may want to consider how they can provide mental wellbeing support to their male employees. Here are some ways they could help:”
Success story for man in Coatbridge
What are the benefits of these procedures? How can this be applied to men’s everyday lives?
Ask Ryan Corr, a man who previously struggled with mental health problems. He has now been supported by Remploy and the Fair Start Scotland programme. He was able to get a new job in Cordant Security, Ryan Corr states,
“My confidence continued to increase, and I knew that with my SIA badge, and already having a positive conversation with Cordant Security, that I would have a decent chance of securing work there.”
What is EqualEngineers doing considering masculinity awareness?
At EqualEngineers we are currently running our Masculinity Survey for 2021. This allows people to give their honest opinions on situations men are faced with.
Our survey has given us the opportunity to gather data on how men feel and react given the circumstances we had to face.
This has only gotten worse especially during the COVID-19 lockdowns. It also allowed us to showcase some support platforms for men who could be struggling with their mental health. Ultimately giving them options on how to improve their mental health.
We hope that in light of these short articles with the overarching theme of men’s mental health you will participate in the Masculinity Survey. After the results are collected you can view the report!