Supporting Men’s Mental Health

By Ashley Barnes

Why it’s important to discuss men’s mental health.

While it is important to be sensitive and attentive to the mental health challenges of all identities and genders, men’s mental health has historically gone unnoticed and unattended to. This is largely in part due to the way that men have been socialized, especially in American culture. Due to gender roles, men are often socialized to be “tough,” and to not show emotions that may communicate any vulnerability. Internalizing. Because expressing deeper feelings of hurt may not be deemed acceptable by society, men may turn toward more socially acceptable ways of expressing their emotions such as anger. Men experience the same emotions that other genders do and it is time we break down the stigma that harms men’s mental health.


According to statistics recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Women are roughly three times more likely to attempt suicide, though men are two to four times more likely to die by suicide.
  • Men tend to choose more lethal suicide methods, such as firearms, hanging, and asphyxiation, whereas women are more likely to overdose on medications or drugs.
  • Women are more likely to seek treatment for depression than men.
  • Among all men aged 18 and over, 7.7% had daily feelings of anxiety, 3.5% had daily feelings of depression, and 8.5% felt either anxious or depressed everyday.
  • Men belonging to ethnic minorities are less likely to utilize mental health treatment than white men (2021).

According to Mental Health America:

  • Over 6 million men have depression, but it often goes undiagnosed.
  • Over 3 million men have panic disorder or a phobia.
  • Over 1 million men develop bipolar disorder.
  • Of people diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 30, 90% are men.
  • Among those who have an eating disorder, 10% of people with anorexia or bulimia are men (2022).

How to help.

Connecting men with mental health resources is a wonderful way to help address men’s mental health challenges. Men may feel comfortable working with a mental health professional who identifies as a man or a mental health professional who identifies as a woman depending on what they are comfortable with. Mental health professionals are aware of the impact that mental health challenges have on men and can help foster a safe, comfortable environment for men to open up about their experiences. Psychiatric and psychotherapeutic services are two common options.

Being mindful of ways that we are unknowingly contributing to stigma is a key factor in dismantling its harmful effects. Using terms like “man up” can be harmful in that it suggests that any sign of perceived weakness is unacceptable and makes a man less of a man; instead, utilize language that normalizes the broad spectrum of emotions that human beings experience. 

If you are seeking support from a mental health professional, please contact us at the Mental Health Center for sensitive, attentive care.


  • National Suicide Prevention Lifelinea 24/7, free and confidential support line for those in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.8255
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline – “a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.”
  • Movember – provides education and services to support men’s mental health.




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Mental Health Treatment Among Adults: United States, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from 

Mental Health America. (2022). Mental health for men. Mental Health America. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from