Men’s Health Month: Focusing on Mental Health.
Men’s Health Month is celebrated every June to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among boys and men. Often overlooked is men’s mental and emotional health, an area that can take a significant toll on the lives of men when left unattended.
It’s estimated that one in four U.S. adults had a mental health disorder in the past year. Depression and anxiety disorders tend to be the most prevalent in our society. It’s especially important to discuss depression when talking about men’s mental health because it can lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and one of the highest causes of death for men between the ages of 25 and 34. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women according to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Men also tend to use more lethal means and to act more impulsively upon suicidal thoughts than women.
Besides the risk of self-harm, mental health problems have also been shown to affect men’s physical health. When ignored and left untreated, mental health problems can lead to high risk behaviors, substance abuse, and other forms of addiction. Untreated emotional problems can also cripple a man’s ability to function fully in his place of employment, school, community and family relationships.