It's time to talk about toxic masculinity, gender bias and the patriarchy.
We often hear about how these oppressive forces are damaging to women, but what we don't talk about enough is how they are killing men too.
Toxic masculinity, Gender Bias and the patriarchy are a set of behaviours that society has taught men to adhere to to be considered “manly”.
These behaviours often include violence, suppression of emotion, and emphasis on financial success above all else.
It is no surprise then that men are more likely than women to engage in self-destructive behaviour such as drinking alcohol or using drugs - after all, it’s a coping mechanism for the pressure they feel to adhere to these standards.
Being aggressive and dominating
Adhering to traditional gender roles
Having limited awareness of mental health issues
Believing in stereotypes about men and women
Fearing judgement from others for not living up to expectations of manliness
Having limited access to male role models and support systems.
All of these things contribute heavily to the stigma surrounding mental health issues that leads many men down a path towards suicide thoughts and behaviours. Men must have access to support and resources to help them cope with the pressures they face, which can lead to better mental health outcomes for everyone. With this in mind, it's important to create environments where men feel free to talk about their feelings and experiences without feeling judged or shamed. This can include connecting with male mentors
Businesses and communities can help combat this by creating an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health without fear of judgement or repercussions.
They should also provide resources such as mental health professionals or support groups for employees who need them.
To truly combat the stigma surrounding mental health and male suicide rates, communities must adopt a top-down, bottom-up approach.
This means that change must come from both those in leadership positions and from individuals on the ground level. When leaders step up and lead by example, genuinely engaging with mental health matters rather than just paying lip service, they give men permission to speak out and seek help.
At the same time, grassroots efforts are essential in creating a supportive environment that encourages open dialogue. By working together, we can create a powerful movement that not only raises awareness but also fosters a culture of empathy and understanding, ultimately saving lives.
The time for change is now. We must all come together, from community leaders to everyday individuals, to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health and reduce male suicide rates. Let's seize this opportunity to create a world where men feel empowered to speak up, seek help, and support one another in their mental health journeys. Take action today by visiting ToughToTalk.com and joining the movement to make a real difference in the lives of countless men. Together, we can break the silence and save lives.