There is a stigma around the discussion of men’s mental health in the society and this is due to the traditional stereotypes that men should not express their emotions or they will be deemed as ‘weak’.
The support and resources that women receive to take care of their mental health is arguably more than the support given to men. This is one of the reasons why the rates at which men die by suicide is higher than women. This disheartening statistic is a reflection of the neglect that has been shown to men’s mental wellbeing over the years.
June is the men’s mental health awareness month and it is important that we take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to prioritize and support the mental health of the men around us.
The mental health of our fathers, partners, sons, brothers and male friends matter so we must learn how we can support them.
Here are a Few signs and Symptoms that a Man is Suffering from Mental Health Issues
1. Feeling Stressed Out or Tired: If a man is always tired or stressed out, it might not be due to physical reasons. It could also be a sign that they are suffering from a mental health issue.
2. High Levels of Anger and Aggression: Men tend to get angry or aggressive when they are depressed. This could also be a sign of distress. If a man gets angry or aggressive for no reason, it might actually be a cry for help.
3. Obsession with Work: Many men are not able to strike a proper balance between work and their personal life. They bring work matters into their personal lives and allows it to consume them.
4. Exhibiting Physical Symptoms like Sleep Problems and Headaches: When men suffer from mental health issues, they find it hard to sleep and might experience frequent headaches as well.
5. Self-Isolation: This is very common to people suffering from mental health issues. Men struggle to express their feelings or emotions when they suffer from any mental health issue. Instead, they choose to withdraw and create distance between themselves and their families.
6. Alcoholism and Drug Abuse: Substance abuse is one of the ways to tell whether a man is experiencing mental health issues. Since men are not allowed to feel, they resort to alcohol and drugs in an effort to numb their emotions and forget.
Note: These signs and symptoms are only a few of the ways to tell if a man is
suffering from any mental health issues. They also vary depending on each person.

8 Practical Steps to Support the Mental Health of the Men in your life.

1. Educate yourself: Before you can support the mental health of the men in your life, you must understand how society’s expectations of men have negatively affected men’s mental health. Understanding and educating yourself will guide you on how you can care for them.

2. Check up on them regularly: Unfortunately, due to gender stereotypes, men are often expected to be strong and always in control. So, even when they experience mental health issues, they are less likely to tell anyone. This is why you must intentionally check up on them. Ask about their wellbeing. Call them and let them know you care. If you discover that they are withdrawing or distancing themselves, reach out and encourage then to talk.

3. Listen without judgement; This is very important because men hardly talk about their emotions and even when they do so, it tends to be downplayed or not taken seriously. So, you must learn to listen to them. Don’t laugh or mock them when they open themselves to you. Listen genuinely with care and compassion.

4. Encourage open conversations: Research has shown that men are less likely to talk about their mental well-being compared to women. So, if they want to talk about their mental health, listen and be open to such conversations. Do not make them feel embarrassed. Normalize having discussions about mental health and mental well-being around you. This is very important
especially for couples and partners.

5. Stop and reduce the use of words and actions that perpetuate toxic masculinity: There are certain words that we say to men that reinforce society’s stereotypes. These words encourage men to suppress their emotions and focus on being strong and dominant
even at the cost of their mental wellbeing

Examples of such words are:
  • “Be a man”
  • “Are you a woman?”
  • “Real men don’t cry'”

There are also actions that many of us subconsciously do that promotes toxic masculinity
such as:

  • Mocking men when they cry.
  • Encouraging men to be aggressive and labeling them weak when they choose not to.
  • Expecting men to be the sole breadwinner and to always bear the burden even if it is
    affecting their mental health.

Also, media and television shows that mocks men that are vulnerable must also be controlled.

6. Urge them to take time to care of themselves: Some men hardly prioritize self-care as they believe it is a sign of weakness. So, you must encourage them to take time to care for their mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Talk to them about their feelings. Encourage them to take time for their own needs. Encourage to eat healthy, let them know it’s okay to relax or want to take a break. However, you must also respect their boundaries and not pressure them.

7. Be patient and supportive: Men have been fed lies on how they must be strong, independent, rely on nobody, bear the burden alone etc., since birth. You cannot expect that those views will suddenly change. What you can do is to offer consistent and patient support and encouragement. Let them know you are always ready to listen to them and offer support where

8. Encourage them to seek professional assistance: Since birth, men have been inundated with words and actions that they can only rely on themselves and cannot seek help. It is therefore very important that you help them know the numerous benefits of seeking professional help and encourage them to seek assistance from mental health professionals like therapists and counsellors.


The mental health of every man matters. Let us try to support and prioritize the mental wellbeing of our sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, male friends and co-workers etc.

In our actions and words, let us encourage men to always be themselves, allow themselves to feel and to never be embarrassed to ask for help.