June is Pride Month, but did you know that it is also Men’s Health Month? Since 1992, June was dedicated as Men’s Health Month to shed some light and awareness on a population that struggles with speaking up. With this article, we will be discussing specifically how mental health affects all men while providing some helpful definitions, facts and statistics, and how to support the men in your life.
Before we get into any statistics, we will start with a few basic definitions.
- Cisgender –a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
- Transgender –a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
- Transmasculine –person whose gender identity is partially or fully masculine and differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
For the purposes of this article, we will be using “men” as the blanket term to refer to all cisgender men, transgender men, transmasculine individuals, and any other person who identifies with masculinity. Please note that while we are using “men” as a blanket term, it is important to remember that gender is personal to each individual and not everyone will identify with the label of “man.”
Facts and Stats
- In general, the high societal pressures associated with “manliness” and “masculine norms” can lead to a worsening of depression and anxiety, substance abuse, greater physical health risk, issues with dating and interpersonal violence, increase in psychological distress, discouragement in seeking help, and homophobia (Chatmon, 2020).
- More than 6 million men in the U.S. suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts each year.
- Suicide, as a cause of death for men has been rising since 2000.
- Men are 3 times more likely than women to commit suicide.
- According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the Williams Institute, transgender individuals face additional risk factors, compared to their cisgender counterparts, that contribute to higher rates of suicidality.
- When speaking on men’s health, there tends to be a hyperfocus on sexual health and a huge deficit in support and awareness in other areas.
- Lower testosterone is correlated with depression, stress, and mood swings (especially among older men).
- Men are less likely than women to seek help due to a disparity in social norms, a tendency to downplay symptoms, and a reluctance to talk.
How to Support
Normalize speaking about mental health. Whether it be sharing how you are feeling, or asking others how they are doing, this provides a safe space for others to begin talking about how they feel.
Engage in active listening. Showing someone consistently that you are willing and able to listen without judgement can ease the burden of suffering in silence and demonstrate that there are people out there who are willing to take the time to listen. For a refresher, check out our Tabono Tidbit on Active Listening.
Encourage self-care and self-love. There is still a huge stigma surrounding men taking care of themselves, but self-care and self-love are good beginning steps towards better mental health. Take a look at our Tabono Tidbit on Self-Love for some tips on how to practice.
Reach out to professional help. Therapists are specifically trained to help and assist in these matters. In the same way that you would go to a medical doctor for any physical health concerns, therapists are there for all of your mental health concerns.
Help break the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and reach out to our licensed therapists via our Contact Us page, or by calling 513-846-5283. We are here to listen and ready to help.
Chatmon, B. N. (2020, August 19). Males and mental health stigma. American journal of men’s health.
Herman, J. L., Brown, T. N. T., & Haas, A. P. (2019, September). Suicide Thoughts and Attempts Among Transgender Adults: Findings from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. UCLA Williams Institute.
Infographic: Mental health for men. Mental Health America. (n.d.).
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-a). Cisgender definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-b). Transgender Definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-c). Transmasculine definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster.
Todd, J. (2022, July 5). Men’s Health: It’s actually less about men, and more about health. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.