Masculinity & Mental Health

The Effects of Cultural Expectations & What We Can Do

If you see more mustaches around this month, it's because some men are participating in no-shave Movember, a national movement to bring attention to common conditions that impact men. They raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention as well as prostate and testicular cancers. In honor of this movement we will be dedicating the next two newsletters to behavioral health issues impacting men. This week we're looking at the cultural norms around masculinity and the impact on men's mental health.

Men’s Mental Health and the Burden of Masculinity

Good mental health is extremely important. While we have made very large strides in understanding mental health issues we still have work to do when it comes to men's mental health. Although both men and women are affected by mental illness, it is oftentimes overlooked in males. Researchers at The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimate that at least 6 million men suffer from depressive disorders, including suicidal thoughts, annually. However, mental health conditions among men often go untreated because they are far less likely to seek treatment than women. Untreated mental health conditions increase the risk for suicide, so it’s no surprise that suicide rates are higher among men. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide 3.9x more often than females; 75% of suicide deaths are men. So what is preventing men from getting the treatment they need? Stigma and the culture norms surrounding masculinity are two contributing factors. 

Stigma & Suffering In Silence

It’s difficult to understand the silent epidemic of mental health issues growing among men in the United States. Silent, because it’s a topic rarely spoken of, swept under the rug at both the individual level and by society at large. Stigma not only bars men from speaking to their loved ones about mental illness, but also from addressing it themselves and seeking help. Stigma affects the way men perceive mental health concerns and therapy. Common ways this can manifest is:

  • Men may struggle to express their emotions.
  • Men may not realize that they have a mental health condition. 
  • Men may turn to substances or other unhealthy coping mechanisms over seeking treatment. 
  • Men may believe that they can push through negative emotions or work through problematic behaviors on their own. 
  • Men may have a negative opinion about the effectiveness of therapy.
  • Men might not consider seeking treatment until their mental health or behavioral issues are severe. 
  • Men might have difficulties being vulnerable in therapy and connecting with their therapist.


Find out what we can do to our latest blog.

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Movember Conversations

Better conversations can help you support the men in your life. Learn how.

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Man Therapy | Men's Mental Health Resources

Man Therapy is a place where men can come to be men. So here, we won't be whining, complaining or moping about. No, we'll be getting off our keisters and form tackling feelings like anger, stress, sadness, substance use, and even suicidal thoughts head-on.

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Watch the video below to listen to Carson Daly and others talk about their mental health struggles.

Happy Veteran's Day!

We thank all of those who have served our country!

Veterans Crisis Line

24/7, confidential crisis support for Veterans and their loved ones. Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1, chat online, or text 838255.

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Mental Health | Veterans Affairs

Find support anytime day or night To connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night: VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more - all accessible to Veterans, Veterans' supporters, and the general public.

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November 16, 2022

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Disclaimer: The Hub shares information and resources on a variety of behavioral health topics. We do not endorse specific events, policies or agencies

Resources & Articles

Getting Started Guide for New Caregivers

When many people hear the word caregiver, they tend to think of someone who takes care of a disabled relative and acts almost like a home nurse while also taking care of finances, cooking, and cleaning. That's not wrong, but not all caregivers play such an involved role.

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Suicide Prevention Resource for Action

Preventing Suicide is a Priority CDC's Suicide Prevention Resource for Action (Prevention Resource) details the strategies with the best available evidence to reduce suicide. The Prevention Resource can help states and communities prioritize suicide prevention activities most likely to have an impact.

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Powerful Campaign to Break Stigma

The Campaign | Deconstructing Stigma

Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health is a series of larger-than-life photographs and interviews with people from across the United States and beyond who have been affected by mental illness.

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