Men’s Mental Health - November

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November, that has come to be known as Movember, is the month to celebrate men and encourage them to talk about their health needs. Some people might question why men need a month to highlight their contributions and talk about their needs, and that is exactly why we need it. International Men’s Day (which is on November 19th) tag line is ‘Men leading by example’ and is not about fanning the patriarchy, but in fact breaking down those stereotypes and moving forward to a more compassionate culture that sees men for who they really are, just like women, soft and squishy on the inside with their own insecurities and emotional needs.

We shouldn’t forget, we all have mental health.

 Globally, men account for 6 in every 10 suicides, in New Zealand this ratio is higher with male suicides being 3 times higher compared to women. It is estimated that around the world a man dies by suicides every minute. That’s around the time it’s taken you to read up to this full stop. And the reason why men’s mental health needs some time in the spotlight, to build awareness around the barriers men face talking about their mental health and provide them with support and ways to access help. In New Zealand, 1 in 8 men will experience depression at some point in their lives and yet they continue to be less likely to seek help or support in comparison to women. Some of the barriers to men getting help include; feeling like it shows weakness, not liking to feel vulnerable or talk about fragile feelings or fear that their partner might reject them. These barriers are often the result of the male stereotype that has built over time that men must be strong, powerful and self-reliant, not vulnerable, emotional and needing support.  What movements like Movember and International Men’s Day are trying to prove is that modern strength and power comes from the ability to recognise when we might need to reach out for some support, either from friends, family or professionals.

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Here at A Change For Better, our online communities are built on inclusivity and compassion for each and every individual.

We welcome men to join our online groups or to get in contact with us if they feel they can benefit from our online counselling services. We recognise the stigma that men face around talking about their mental health and we want to be part of the change to break down those stigma barriers. The added benefit of accessing support through A Change For Better is it can be accessed remotely. There’s no walking into a therapy centre, no making excuses for why you need to travel on a certain day or be unreachable. Therapy with us is built around the individual, all that’s needed is an internet connection and a small amount of time.

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