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Difficult for men to recognize signs

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Fact:

  • Men are more likely than women to develop schizophrenia at a younger age.
  • Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, with the highest number of suicides occurring amongst men aged 40-60.

Sometimes the messages that surround us–that we see and hear over and over–make it difficult for men to recognize their own mental health and addiction issues and seek professional help.

Recognizing and discussing these messages will help us to change them.

•Men should be successful and strong

Societal expectations put pressure on men to be strong and successful, where success is measured through power, position, and financial security.

As a result, self-care and stress management are seen as signs of weakness.

  • It’s important for women to take care of themselves

Self-care and coping skills are important for women and girls; however, this message is not conveyed to men and boys.

  • It’s important for women to have work-life balance

The balance between career and family is recognized as a concern for women.

It is unrecognized as a need for men—even though it is a challenge for men, as well.

  • Men’s physical symptoms are caused by injury or disease

Men are more likely to describe their mental health concerns as physical symptoms such as headaches or chronic pain.

The link between signs of mental illness and physical symptoms often is unrecognized and leads to undiagnosed, untreated men.

Editor’s note: Mental Health Week is May 4-10.

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