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Men’s Mental Health

Written By: Diego Hernandez


With June housing both Father’s Day and Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to reflect on and appreciate the men in our lives. Particularly, their mental health.

As a Latino man, the idea of traditional and strong masculinity, or machismo, was deeply engrained in my upbringing. These ideas that “real men” do not cry, that men are supposed to be strong and support their families, and that a father is meant to always be stoic were always present in my day-to-day life.


This idea of “traditional” masculinity then contrasts with “traditional” femininity, essentially painting expressing one’s emotions as feminine and therefore pressuring men to avoid discussing their feelings. However, men feel just as strongly as anyone else and socially limiting the expression of their emotions causes much more harm than good, oftentimes directly impacting their mental health.


Despite these ideas perhaps reducing in recent times, many of us can still identify how these societal norms have hurt and negatively impacted how we feel and behave. Therefore, in this blog post, I wanted to discuss how both men and the people around them can actively take steps to work towards improving their mental health and reducing the stigma around men’s emotions.


Check up on others


Proactively checking up on the men around you and asking them how they are feeling is a great first step toward opening a dialogue about men’s mental health. Continuing to ask questions and pushing past their initial “I’m fine” responses can allow them to open up a bit and perhaps express how they feel.


For men, this can look like reaching out to their friends more often and relying on others when going processing difficult emotions.


Due to a lifetime of bottling up these feelings, some men may not initially know how to properly express their feelings. Therefore, leading the conversation with how you feel and sharing what is troubling you may help to begin the process of opening up.

For those who still have difficulty expressing themselves, sometimes simply telling someone you appreciate them can have a large positive impact. 




Therapy is also a great way to allow men a safe and healthy outlet for their emotions. With the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, the idea of attending therapy may seem very difficult for some men. However, many men who are initially reluctant towards therapy, often begin to experience its benefits as soon as they open themselves to the experience and see how beneficial it can be.


Even if one feels that they are not actively processing very difficult emotions, attending therapy can still allow them to process the smaller difficulties that may come with day-to-day life and help them gain skills to support themselves if difficulties arise.


Supporting them and encouraging them as they embark on their journey can assist them in being more open to the experience. This can be done by assisting them in finding a therapist they feel would be the best fit for them or accompanying them to their appointments. 




NOTE: While this article does use the words “man” and “men”, please note that this is meant to refer to all people who identify as masculine, not just cis-gendered male individuals.

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