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6 tips to talk about mental health this Movember

4 mins read

Movember is an annual month dedicated to looking at men’s mental health, something that is often pushed to the side or not taken seriously enough. When men try to talk about their feelings, they are often dismissed easily or played off as a joke.

This article will look into the different ways that you can help your friends – and make it count.

1. Find somewhere comfortable

Whether it is on a playing field or in a pub, there are many different places that a person may feel more comfortable opening up. This can help the person create a more easy-flowing conversation where they can talk about more extreme topics that they might not usually talk about.

They may not even find it comfortable opening up face-to-face, which is where the digital age comes in handy with different forms of communication. This also helps as it means you can reach out to people you care about even if they are miles away.

2. Share an experience

If they share information that you can relate to, why not share the story with them? This could help the person feel less alone in their situation as they now have someone they know that they can turn to if they need any advice on how to deal with what’s troubling them – try to avoid dominating the conversation and talking over them though.

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3. Show you actually care

If you were trying to open up to someone but they sat on their phone the entire time not listening, you’d be pretty bummed about it – so why do the same to someone else?

If they have come to you to talk about their feelings then that means they trust that you will listen and try to help, and doing just that can really help them in the long run.

4. Express your own feelings

Reaching out can be scary for some people, and sometimes they need a little nudge to begin talking about their feelings. If this is the case then approach them and ask how they are doing, try to keep it casual.

5. Invite them places

When people are feeling down, it can often be hard to find the motivation to do anything. If you invite them out to join in with stuff, they may feel slightly more motivated as they have someone else to do it with along the way. This could range from going somewhere, going on a light walk, or even just inviting them to a social area where you can talk with them more freely.

6. Don’t pester too much

If your friend has decided to open up to you – great! But now you may need to take a step back and let them have time to breathe. Opening up can be tough, and they probably wouldn’t want you to do a complete 180 on how you treat them to the point where you ask them how they are doing all the time. It’s probably better to ask it in a more casual atmosphere every so often, instead of being in their face about it.

Whatever you decide to do this Movember, make sure to make it count. It doesn’t matter if you do something large, like raise for charity, or small, like asking your friends how they’re doing. In the end, everything will count, and being more open about problems can make life easier for many people.

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1 Comment

  1. Even today, various mainstream news and social media platitudinously state the obvious, that society must open up its collective minds and common dialogue when it comes to far more progressively addressing the challenge of more fruitfully treating and preventing such illness in general.

    But they will typically fail to address the problem of ill men, or even boys, refusing to open up and/or ask for help due to their fear of being perceived by peers, etcetera, as weak/non-masculine.
    The social ramifications exist all around us; indeed, it is endured, however silently, by males of/with whom we are aware/familiar or to whom so many of us are closely related.

    Albeit perhaps a subconscious one, a mentality persists: Men can take care of themselves, and boys are basically little men. It could be the same mindset that may explain why the book Childhood Disrupted only included one man among its six interviewed adult subjects, there presumably being such a small pool of ACE-traumatized men willing to formally tell his own story of childhood abuse.

    According to psychologist, psychotherapist and author Tom Falkenstein (The Highly Sensitive Man, 2019, Ch.1), “numerous psychological studies over the last forty years tell us that, despite huge social change, the stereotypical image of the ‘strong man’ is still firmly with us at all ages, in all ethnic groups, and among all socio-economic backgrounds. …

    “In the face of problems, men tend not to seek out emotional or professional help from other people. They use, more often than women, alcohol or drugs to numb unpleasant feelings and, in crises, tend to try to deal with things on their own, instead of searching out closeness or help from others. …

    “While it is true that a higher percentage of women than men will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or a depressive episode, the suicide rate among men is much higher. In the United States, the suicide rate is notably higher in men than in women. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men account for 77 percent of the forty-five thousand people who kill themselves every year in the United States.

    “In fact, men commit suicide more than women everywhere in the world. Men are more likely to suffer from addiction, and when men discuss depressive symptoms with their doctor, they are less likely than women to be diagnosed with depression and consequently don’t receive adequate therapeutic and pharmacological treatment.”

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