June marks Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, a crucial time to shed light on the often-overlooked issues surrounding men’s mental health. Despite significant advancements in understanding and treating mental health conditions, men continue to face unique challenges that impact their mental well-being. This month provides an opportunity to raise awareness, break down stigmas, and encourage men to seek the help they need.

The State of Men’s Mental Health

Men’s mental health is a complex and multifaceted issue influenced by various social, cultural, and individual factors. According to recent research, men are disproportionately affected by certain mental health challenges, yet they are less likely to seek help compared to women.

  1. High Incidence of Suicide and Depression

    • Men account for a significant proportion of suicide deaths, with a notable peak in the mid-50s age group. Male depression often manifests differently than female depression, making it harder to diagnose and treat effectively (Bilsker, Fogarty, & Wakefield, 2018).
  2. Underutilization of Mental Health Services

    • Societal norms around masculinity discourage men from expressing vulnerability and seeking help. As a result, men are less likely to utilize mental health services, leading to untreated mental health conditions (Parent et al., 2018).
  3. Impact of Traditional Masculine Norms

    • Traditional masculine norms promote risk-taking behaviors, substance abuse, and a reluctance to seek help. These norms contribute to the invisibility of male distress and a lower likelihood of men engaging in preventive mental health behaviors (Smith, Mouzon, & Elliott, 2018).
  4. Barriers to Help-Seeking

    • Factors such as race, income, and sexual orientation significantly influence mental health help-seeking behaviors among men. White men, nonheterosexual men, and older men are more likely to seek mental health care (Parent et al., 2018).

Effective Interventions for Men’s Mental Health

Addressing men’s mental health requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the unique ways men experience and express mental health issues. Successful interventions often involve creating safe spaces that reduce stigma, using male-sensitive language, and embedding services within communities.

  1. Creating Safe Spaces

    • Safe spaces that reduce stigma and normalize men’s engagement in mental health interventions can promote trust and increase the likelihood of men seeking help (Robertson et al., 2016).
  2. Community-Based Interventions

    • Embedding mental health services within the communities of men being engaged, fully involving these men, and holding ‘male-positive’ values can lead to better outcomes (Robertson et al., 2016).
  3. Promoting Social Connectedness

    • Encouraging strong social support networks and reducing isolation among men can significantly improve mental health outcomes. Men’s social connections and the ways they seek and mobilize support can vary, but fostering these connections is crucial (McKenzie et al., 2018).
  4. Tailoring Language and Approaches

    • Using language and approaches that are sensitive to the ways men express and experience mental health issues can improve engagement and effectiveness of mental health interventions (Robertson et al., 2016).

Moving Forward

Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month is an important time to reflect on the state of men’s mental health and to take action. By understanding the unique challenges men face, promoting effective interventions, and encouraging men to seek help, we can make significant strides in improving mental health outcomes for men.

Let’s use this month to raise awareness, break down stigmas, and support the mental well-being of men in our communities. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.



Bilsker, D., Fogarty, A., & Wakefield, M. A. (2018). Critical issues in men’s mental health. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 63(6), 590-596. https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743718766052

McKenzie, S., Collings, S., Jenkin, G., & River, J. (2018). Masculinity, social connectedness, and mental health: Men’s diverse patterns of practice. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(5), 1247-1261. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988318772732

Parent, M. C., Hammer, J. H., Bradstreet, T. C., Schwartz, E., & Jobe, T. (2018). Men’s mental health help-seeking behaviors: An intersectional analysis. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(1), 64-73. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988315625776

Robertson, S., Gough, B., Hanna, E., Raine, G., Robinson, M., Seims, A., & White, A. (2016). Successful mental health promotion with men: The evidence from ‘tacit knowledge’. Health Promotion International, 33(2), 334–344. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daw067

Smith, D. T., Mouzon, D. M., & Elliott, M. (2018). Reviewing the assumptions about men’s mental health: An exploration of the gender binary. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(1), 78-89. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988316630953