Why Rubbing Dirt on it Just isn’t Enough: The Importance of Mental Health for Men

Emotions, everyone has them but not everyone talks about them; especially men. We live in a society where acknowledging, let alone expressing, negative emotions is seen as weakness. This is doubly true for men. It’s no secret that men in our society are often taught from a young age to “suck it up,” “rub some dirt on it,” and that “you’re a baby” if you show emotion.

Here’s the thing – men suffer just as much as women when it comes to mental health but don’t speak up nearly as much. This means they don’t receive the help they often desperately need (and want). I can go on and on about how our society has caused this over the years and how ridiculous it is, but instead, let’s focus on ways to break down the stigma.

How can you support the guys in your life?

Here are some ideas for things you can do to support the guys (of any age) in your life.

  1.  Demonstrate expressing/sharing emotions with them. By going to them for help or support, you’re letting them know that it is okay for them to do the same. It’s also showing them how to do it.
  2. Tell them you’re here to support them if they ever want to talk. This doesn’t mean assuming something is wrong or forcing them to talk. Let them go to you when they’re ready to.
  3. When the guy in your life comes to you ready to talk, don’t judge. Judgement and understanding cannot live in the same space.
  4. Pay attention to little clues or subtle hints that they want to talk. Often times if someone asks you how you’re doing first, it’s because they want you to ask them how they’re doing next.
  5. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re worried about them. Knowing someone notices or cares may mean the world to them.

So please, boys, guys, men, dudes, and bros – if you’re feeling out of it or not like yourself reach out to someone. There is no shame in asking for help or telling someone that you are feeling lost. We’re here for you.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and want to talk, below are free resources: