November is men’s health awareness month – and some of the less-often-talked about health issues affecting men are about their mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association is calling this a “silent crisis, a sleeper issue”.
The mental health topics coming to light include vulnerability to postpartum depression (it can also occur in new fathers), increasing rates of hospitalization for schizophrenia, and rising rates of depression.
However, the most alarming vulnerability for men’s mental health is suicide. The disproportionate rates of suicide among men are shocking. According to the Movember campaign “globally, on average, 1 man dies by suicide every minute of every day”.
Other statistics are equally bracing:
- In Canada, 4 of every 5 suicides are men,
- In the UK, suicide rates are 3 times higher in men, and
- In New South Wales, Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death in males since 1991.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also intensified risk factors in men through job loss, loneliness, and alcohol and substance use.
Organizations across the health ecosystem are now taking action to improve mental health among men and boys. These strategies include building social connections, rethinking health care delivery for male mental health services, and increasing education, research, and advocacy.
If you need to have conversations with men in your life about mental health but find it difficult, try out the Movember Conversations tool: https://conversations.movember.com/en-us/
The time for action is now – check out the resources below for opportunities to support and improve men’s health.
- Movember – one of the primary causes for the Movember campaign is men’s mental health. Resources are providing to discuss mental health issues with men in your life.
- HeadsUpGuys– A group from the University of British Columbia, funded by the Movember Foundation, is dedicated to supporting men with depression and their friends/families.