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Men's Mental Health Matters

Men’s Mental Health Stigma

Why do many men have a harder time seeking treatment for mental illness? Even with the various mental health treatment modalities available, there is a disproportionate difference between the number of males experiencing mental health disorders and those seeking treatment. Mental health, particularly among men, has gained momentum in becoming the “other” silent killer. [1] Why is this? Men are thought to be deterred from engaging in mental health services due to socialization into traditional masculine gender roles. Traits associated with traditional masculinity include stereotypes of stoicism, invulnerability, and self-reliance, which are frequently discussed as they do not fit comfortably with psychological help-seeking. For instance, negative emotions are perceived as a sign of weakness, discouraging men from reaching out to friends. Causing men’s mental health stigma. This negatively impacts men’s overall help-seeking behaviors and their choice of treatment type. Failure to adhere to these masculine stereotypes can result in the internalization of discriminative views held by the wider public. These self-stigmatizing beliefs further discourage men from seeking help. Another explanation of men’s mental health stigma is that men often cope with mental health difficulties differently compared to women, demonstrating an increased tendency to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs to alleviate…