MEN-tal health

I have STRONG opinions on men…

We all need to understand something, Men really are from Mars and Women really are from Venus. We are different, there’s no doubt. But I can’t help but think that up bringing plays a big part in how we all are too right? The decades before us were about STRONG men who weren’t outwardly emotional! Men were there for his family, to support them, to earn a living for them and to provide. Boys were there to play with trucks, laugh at fart jokes and look up to their Dads. But what happens when something triggers and they all of a sudden can’t express their feelings because as a whole society, Men were told they had to be strong always?

I think about mental health often…and I recognise that Men go through trauma, emotional turmoil, low self esteem, just like Women do…the difference is a lot of us as females can express those feelings. Most males in the population feel they can’t reach out, speak, cry or even confide in someone. And that saddens me.

We all have men in our lives, men we love and adore. And unlike women, a lot of guys have an inability to express how they feel. And really…showing emotions has always been taboo when you’re a guy! Why? Because this is what men are taught growing up!

Just the other day I noticed a friend purchased a baby doll for her sons birthday, because he asked for a little brother. This kid was overjoyed by the fact that he now had his own baby doll that he started taking it everywhere with him. My friend put up a photo on Facebook of him carrying it around in the city and then i noticed a negative comment from a man “Take that doll off him, get him a gun”.

I thought…wow…here’s a man, representing a “man view” on what he thinks is unacceptable, probably because of the way he was brought up himself.

So I mentioned that perhaps this little boy doesn’t NEED a gun…he just needs love and acceptance in WHATEVER he chooses to do or play with. Which he had from his Mum 100%. Whether that is to grow up deciding he wants to be a mechanic, a nurse, a hairdresser, a nanny, a teacher, a real estate agent. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day because his upbringing means that he is NOT frowned upon for wanting to incorporate so called “GIRLY THINGS” into his life, as people so lightly put it.

I feel so strongly in the way we bring up our kids, we should be treated equally, we shouldn’t be calling push ups “GIRL push ups” and “MAN push ups”, we shouldn’t be judging others on what they choose to do for a living because of their gender, or if they have a little cry when they’re watching the movie LION (Apparently it’s salty tear worthy!!)

I am going to give you some shocking bullet points now.

Men are allowed to cry…
Men are allowed to grieve…
Men are allowed to have emotions…
Men are allowed to have mental health issues…
Men are allowed to talk about their emotions…
Little boys are allowed to paint nails…
Little boys are allowed to cry when they injure themselves…
Little boys are allowed to hug each other…
Little boys are allowed to play with socially unaccepted “girly” toys…

So, I pose the topic of MEN-tal health, because more often than not, when a Man is emotional, filled with troubles, has nobody to speak to because they feel weak…mental health CAN creep in. Now, 70% of my readers are women…but it can start with us right?

On average, 1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. Depression is a high risk factor for suicide and, in Australia, there are approximately 2,500 suicides each year. 75 per cent are by men – with an average of 6 men taking their lives every single day. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54, significantly exceeding the national road toll.

Just being aware of it, thinking about it, bringing up your kids to be treated equally and saying it’s OK if they choose to do things in other ways, knowing that you can help in small ways is enough for people to start talking more about it and even pulling others up on it.

And, also if you are a man and you are going through turmoil, don’t be afraid to speak out, talk to your family and friends, you are not weak, in fact you are strong and amazing and you are pushing through the barriers and you should feel proud.

Lastly, if you are feeling like you have nobody to turn to, you can get support with Beyond Blue – you can chat to them online, call on 1300 224 636, send an e-mail via their website OR click over to their forums. 

Please be aware…a simple thing like telling a little boy he should stop being a sissy can actually cause a WHOLE range of trouble for him in his teenage years, all the way up to manhood. Please, PLEASE, think about what you say before you say it. Acceptance and love, that’s all you need to give others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master