Men’s Mental Health Month: Erasing the Stigma

Men's Mental Health Month

Table of Contents

While mental health affects all genders, it tends to be overlooked by men more than women. Men are more likely to view mental health struggles as a sign of weakness and therefore choose to ignore them. The stigma surrounding mental health, particularly in men, is leading to significant mental and physical health issues including substance abuse and suicide.

With June being men’s mental health month, it is an important reminder to everyone that mental health should be looked at in the same light as physical health. Much in the same way they would seek treatment for a physical ailment, it is important that men do the same when it comes to their mental health as well.

At Jaywalker, we don’t just focus on substance abuse and addiction treatment for men, we also focus on mental health as well.

June is Men’s Mental Health Month

Men’s Mental Health Month emerged as an initiative to shed light on the unique mental health challenges that men face. Historically, discussions surrounding mental health have been dominated by female narratives, often leaving men feeling marginalized or overlooked. Men’s Mental Health Month aims to address this imbalance and provide a platform for men to openly discuss their mental health concerns without fear of judgment or stigma.

Prevalence of Mental Health Issues in Men

Roughly 4% (6 million) of the U.S. male population suffers from depression every year. Depression is one of 5 major mental health conditions that affect men at a disproportionately high rate. The other 4 are:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychosis and Schizophrenia
  • Eating Disorders

Below are some additional facts and statistics as it pertains to mental health issues specifically in men from Mental Health America:

  • 90% of Americans that are diagnosed with schizophrenia by the age of 30 are men
  • Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death among males
  • Men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women
  • Roughly 1 in 5 men develop alcohol dependency

What Factors Can Lead To Male Mental Health Issues

Several factors can contribute to mental health issues in men, including:

  • Traditional gender roles – Men are often told at a young age that talking about their feelings or admitting to mental health struggles is a sign of weakness. This can place pressure on men to appear strong and in control at all times.
  • Childhood abuse/family issues – Experiencing or witnessing traumatic events as a child, including abuse, can increase the risk of developing a mental health condition.
  • Sexism – Men who conform to typical masculine norms may not only be more likely to have poorer mental health but they may also fail to properly recognize they are struggling or admit to it.
  • Trauma – Those men that are regularly exposed to traumatic events, such as first responders and those in the military, are significantly more likely to develop a mental health condition, specifically Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Financial struggles – Another unfair stigma surrounding men is that they are expected to be the provider for their families. As a result, any type of financial struggle can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety that can ultimately lead to a more serious mental illness.
  • Loss of work – Unemployment and retirement are associated with an increased risk of depression in men. They may feel like they have lost their sense of purpose or are abandoning their role as the provider.
  • Substance abuse – Men are far more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate instead of talking to someone about their mental health struggles. This can lead to the development of co-occurring disorders.

The Stigma Men Face When It Comes to Mental Health

Men face unique challenges when it comes to seeking help for mental health issues. As we have already touched on, society often perpetuates harmful stereotypes that men should be strong, self-reliant, and unaffected by emotions.

This cultural expectation can lead to a pervasive stigma that men should handle their problems independently, further discouraging them from seeking treatment. The fear of being perceived as weak or vulnerable can prevent men from opening up about their struggles and accessing the support they need.

This can be particularly dangerous, as not seeking professional help often leads to much bigger issues such as substance abuse and addiction and even suicidal actions.

Reducing the Stigma and Asking For Help

To reduce the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, we all must foster open and inclusive conversations. We all have to do our best to let the men in our lives know that it is ok to be open, honest, and vulnerable regarding their overall mental health. By promoting empathy and understanding, we can create a supportive environment that encourages men to seek help without fear of judgment.

It is also important to be able to recognize signs that a loved one may be struggling, that way you can attempt, even if they either can’t or choose not to recognize their struggles on their own.

Signs that you or a loved one may be struggling mentally and should talk to a professional include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating

How Is Mental Health Treated?

Much like substance abuse and addiction treatment, mental health treatment varies based on a person’s unique and specific needs. Also like substance abuse and addiction treatment, the majority of mental health conditions can be treated using some combination of therapy, medication, support groups, lifestyle changes, and alternative options.


While there are many different forms of therapy, one of the more successful forms of therapy for treating mental health conditions is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, such as Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to mental health issues. It helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their problem-solving skills.

Other therapies that may be used to help treat mental health conditions include:


In some instances, medications may be prescribed in addition to therapy to detonate or eliminate certain symptoms associated with a person’s mental health condition.

Medications that may be prescribed to help treat mental health conditions include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics

Support Groups

Support groups provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals with similar experiences to come together and share their challenges, successes, and coping strategies. While support groups are often utilized by those in recovery from substance abuse, they can also be helpful for those working through issues associated with mental health struggles as well.

Alternative and Holistic Approaches

Strengthening the relationship between body and mind can do wonders for a person’s not just physical health but mental health as well. For those looking for something different than the more traditional treatment approaches, some tremendous alternative methods include:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Acupuncture
  • Message therapy
  • Herbal remedies and supplements
  • Art therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapy

Benefits of Seeking Treatment

Men's Mental Health MonthSeeking treatment for mental health issues offers numerous benefits. Not only can it improve your mental health which, in turn, can improve your overall physical health, but it can also help you enjoy your life again.

Some of the other benefits of seeking treatment for your mental health condition include:

  • Improved relationships
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Improved coping skills
  • Increased productivity
  • Prevention of the escalation of symptoms
  • The development of a support system

It’s important to remember that seeking treatment for a mental health condition is not a sign of weakness. It is the opposite. Seeking treatment is a sign of strength and a sign that you want to improve yourself and be a better person. After all, you can’t expect others to like the person that you are if you don’t like the person that you are first.

Receive Help For Mental Illness at Jaywalker For Men’s Mental Health Month

Men’s Mental Health Month serves as a crucial reminder that men need to make their mental health and well-being a priority. By erasing the stigma surrounding men seeking help and encouraging open conversations, we all can create a supportive environment where men feel comfortable seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, know that you are not alone. At Jaywalker, we understand the unique challenges that men face. We also understand that in many cases, those struggling with substance abuse and addiction are also struggling mentally as well. That’s why we offer a variety of evidence-based therapies, individualized treatment plans.

In addition to our substance abuse treatment, we also treat those suffering from co-occurring disorders including those suffering from:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Process and Behavioral Addictions
  • Personality Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Dysthymia

For more information about our program, including our unique model of care, contact us today.


author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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