Men's Mental Health Awareness Month, Silent Suffering

            November is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month.  It is of the utmost importance that we consider this pressing issue with the gravity it deserves.  Men make up 49% of the world’s population but account for over 80% of the world’s suicides.  The main reason for this is that, for whatever reason, men often choose to suffer in silence.  For example, nearly 10% of men suffer from depression but less than half ever seek any treatment.

            Since 2005 the National Suicide Prevetion Lifeline has served as a primary resource for people in emotional distress experiencing a suicidal crisis.  Numerous studies have shown what one may suspect.  Callers, overall, feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful following an encounter with a Lifeline counselor.

                In a nationwide effort to highlight and streamline access to suicide prevention resources, 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that routes callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  The previous Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255 is still and will always be the 800 number one can use to reach Lifeline counselors, but the abbreviated number has now been instituted nationwide with the help of a series of public mental health grants.

                When a person in need of emotional or mental health support contacts either number they will reach a trained counselor who will listen and work to understand the problems affecting the caller.  They will then provide support and connect them to resources if necessary.

                Behavioral health, which includes mental health and substance abuse, is being considered more and more, thankfully, with regard to overall wellness.  Should you or someone you love experience emotional or behavioral distress, it doesn’t have to reach a suicidal crisis for help to be accessed.  Screenings are a way to identify and determine the need for mental health services prior to an emergency situation.

                Mindwise Innovations has provided brief screenings that cover a wide array of behavioral health needs and can help a person determine whether further assistance is needed.  This can be done so that suicide is avoided as an unfortunate solution to the mental health crisis.

                These screenings are available at and can be considered a “checkup from the neck up.”  The services are completely anonymous and confidential.  After the questionnaire you will immediately see the results along with recommendations and appropriate resources as needed.

                These anonymous assessments are designed to identify mental health conditions that may benefit from professional treatment by a qualified mental health provider.  For men, there is often a perceived stigma associated with asking for help or seeking emotional support.  We are supposed to be strong and self reliant, but this is an antiquated notion. 

                It is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge a compromise of emotional stability for men or women.  The brain is an organ of the body just as the heart or liver.  If a person has high blood sugar or an irregular heartbeat there is no shame in seeking treatment for diabetes or a cardiac condition.  Hopefully we can reduce the statistical disparity of men seeking treatment.  Suicide is not the solution, and men’s struggles should never have to be faced alone.

                If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health challenges, reach out.  There is help.  There is hope.  Together we can change the way men’s mental health is viewed by our society.

This guy got a kick out of it

This guy got a kick out of it