Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Opening the door to men's mental healthcare

Posted at 8:46 AM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 08:46:18-04

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Many people face challenges in accessing mental health care. Statistically, one of the biggest obstacles for men seems to be their reluctance to reach out for help to begin with.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2020, 24.7 percent of women had some form of mental health treatment, but only 13.4 percent of men did.

"We know in general — big generalization here — men are really great at internalizing what we go through, and not opening up or not sharing and not seeking help or support when we may be experiencing something," Dr. Justin Ross, a Psychologist with UCHealth, said.

He said to start, men need to realize that what they may be experiencing is normal and human.

"Anxiety and stress, and sadness, and feelings of being burned out, and relationship struggles," he said.

So when should men seek help?

"If you're running into this awareness in yourself that you're just feeling something that is intense and you can't recover back to your baseline, you feel off, those are probably signs to think about maybe it would help to talk to somebody," Dr. Ross said.

If you think a friend is struggling, Dr. Ross said just telling them to get therapy can feel dismissive. Instead, just show your support.

"The first thing we need to do is not try to problem-solve. Don't try to make it better, don't try to take it away, don't try to dismiss their feelings. Just provide that validation by asking, and then provide that support by listening," he said.