Spotlight on Mental Wellness: Men & Mental Health

Historically, men lack awareness of health and wellness in general. This leads to men not seeking out help for medical or emotional concerns. Truth is, to lead a healthy, whole life, we need to focus on more than diet and exercise.

Let’s face it, everyone goes through emotional ups and downs at some time in their life. The words Mental Health seem to suggest something negative, but being mentally well is more than just a lack of mental illness. Our mental health directs how we feel, think, and behave every day. Negative views, known as social stigma, are a harmful form of discrimination that can come at us from outside sources, and from our personal feelings.

Social stigma prevents us from being willing to seek out help. It dulls our ability to feel supported by those around us, and keeps us from truly supporting others. Social stigma also builds walls between us and the most basic necessities of life. These false beliefs are set in a lack of understanding of emotional wellness or mental health.

How do we work together to squash stigma? Simply, don’t buy into it. Eliminate the power stigma has on our wellbeing by not believing it. Do the very things that stigma is trying to keep us from doing. We can all do our part by talking openly about our everyday struggles, big and small. Talking about how we needed help to get through it, and where we found the help we needed.

Every man, at some point, will meet difficulties, challenges, or struggles. Holding back from facing them lets the problem grow and form bigger, more challenging issues. Finding the strength and guidance you need to get to the other side of the mountain is where true strength and power are gained.

Michelle Taylor received her doctorate from the University of South Alabama, and is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with Columbia Basin Health Association, serving patients in Othello, Mattawa, Connell, and surrounding areas.