June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a powerful reminder of the unique challenges men face when it comes to emotional wellbeing. 

Did you know that men are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women? And when we look at the Black community, the disparities are even more alarming – Black men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than Black women.

These statistics paint a sobering picture, but they also highlight the urgent need for us to support the men in our lives. As women, we have a unique opportunity to create change by breaking down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and encouraging the men we care about to prioritize their emotional wellbeing.

So how can we do this? 

Here are 5 concrete steps we can take:

#1. Create a judgment-free zone

One of the biggest barriers men face when it comes to seeking help is the fear of being seen as weak or unmanly. We can combat this by creating a safe space where men feel comfortable expressing their emotions without fear of judgment. This means actively listening, validating their experiences, and avoiding phrases like “man up” or “just get over it.”

#2. Encourage healthy coping strategies

Men are often socialized to deal with stress and anxiety in unhealthy ways, such as drinking, using drugs, or bottling up their emotions. We can help by encouraging the men in our lives to find healthy outlets for their stress, such as exercise, meditation, or pursuing a hobby they enjoy. This might mean inviting them to join us for a yoga class, suggesting a mindfulness app, or simply asking about their interests and passions.

#3. Help them find professional support

If a man in your life is struggling with mental health issues, it’s important to encourage them to seek professional help. This can be a daunting step, but we can make it easier by offering to help them find a therapist, support group, or online resource that feels right for them.

Some great resources for men’s mental health include:

#4. Be a role model for self-care and emotional vulnerability

As women, we have the power to challenge gender stereotypes and model healthy emotional expression. By prioritizing our own mental health, being open about our struggles, and showing that it’s okay to ask for help, we send a powerful message to the men in our lives. We can also encourage them to take breaks, set boundaries, and engage in self-care activities that promote emotional wellbeing.

#5. Show consistent love and support

Perhaps the most important thing we can do is simply show up for the men we care about, day in and day out. This means checking in regularly, offering words of encouragement, and being there to listen when they need to talk. It also means being patient and understanding when they’re going through a tough time, and reminding them that they’re not alone.

Supporting the mental health of the men in our lives is not a one-time event – it’s an ongoing commitment. It requires us to challenge our own biases, have difficult conversations, and be willing to sit with discomfort. But by taking these steps, we can help create a world where men feel empowered to prioritize their emotional wellbeing and seek help when they need it. 

At New Leaf Counseling and Wellness, we’re committed to supporting men’s mental health and breaking down the barriers that prevent men from seeking help. You can find out more about our counselling and therapy services at https://newleafcounselingandwellness.com/services/