COVID-19 and the Impact on Men's Mental Health: The pandMENic of Society

Discussions around mental health are more important now than ever before, generations of men have been conditioned to not speak about their feelings but it is important that in 2021 we abolish the negative stigma surrounding men's mental health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the last year of our lives. The stress, uncertainty, and unpredictability has led us to re-evaluate what we find most important and how we can better ourselves for the future. However, it has also shed some serious light onto issues that were already prominent in our world. One of the biggest issues being men’s mental health.

For generations us as society have been conditioned to believe that “real men don’t cry”. Men have been afraid to speak out when they are struggling as they fear being “weak”. As a result, feelings are kept bottled up which can lead to increased depression and even suicide. Over the past 10 years the rate of suicide amongst males has increased significantly. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers are continuing to increase at an alarming rate. 

From July to August 2020 calls to the Mensline Australia increased by an astonishing 95% which can be linked to the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the mental health of men (1).

Feelings of loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety have only increased during isolation. The pandemic has shaken even the strongest of us and has left those suffering feeling more lost than ever before.

Men are less willing to reach out and seek help compared to women. The negative stigma surrounding men’s mental health has become so engrained in society’s attitudes that it has become the norm. Remember we talked about how we can use the COVID-19 pandemic to better ourselves for the future? Let’s start this by crushing the negative stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

Pushing for this kind of change will take the shift of society. It is no longer something we can keep under the blanket. It requires active change from everyone. How can you help? Check in on your close male partners or friends. Ask how they are doing and be willing to listen when they respond.

This is where the Momentum For Australia charity seeks to make a difference. It is time to educate society that a strong man is one who opens up, not bottles up!

If you are someone that is struggling, or needs help with addressing their problems there are many outlets you can reach out to:
• Beyond Blue, 1300 22 4636
• Lifeline Australia, 13 11 14
• MensLine Australia, 1300 78 99 78
 

1. On the Line. 2020. https://ontheline.org.au/mental-health-blog/mens-mental-health-statistics/.

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