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MENtal Health Message for Men: Part 1

Emmanuel L. Rock, MS, ALC, NCC

Associate Licensed Counselor/Board Certified Counselor


Weiss Lake Counseling Services, Mental Health Service

839 West Main Street, Centre, AL


Emmanuel L. Rock | The Weekly Ledger News |

It’s good to have you back. I hope you are all doing well.

We are already flying by with this year. It seems like we were just in the month of January. That's mind-blowing in my opinion. We are also approaching a time for recognizing men and fathers. I appreciate all that you do to help the wonders of this world. Women, I appreciate you all. You hold as the pillar for us, and we are grateful.

You see that many times when you look at different readings and posts about mental health, it's primarily from the perspective of women. The unfortunate reality is that women are more likely to speak out about mental health issues than men. Even so, it is men who are experiencing the most rapid mental health struggles. As a male, I find that we men usually don't feel as comfortable opening up about our emotions compared to women.

Women tend to share their difficulties more openly with close friends, family, and listeners. I remember my grandmother sharing her wisdom, stories, and life experiences with me when I was a child. She would spend hours talking about her experiences, both the good and the bad, and it would be therapeutic for her. She shared her most inner thoughts with me and showed me the world through her eyes. Most importantly, she had the courage to speak out. She was honest and open about her emotions. That's how I developed my empathy and listening skills. In the past, I have not had the experience of sitting with a group of men who felt comfortable enough to discuss stress and anxiety, and how they would like to seek help. I'm not saying that's the worst thing to do.

In fact, I believe it’s the main reason why we men suffer in silence. We feel intense stress and shame when we go to a female figure in our lives, whether that is our wife or girlfriend, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, or anyone else. They provide us with great support and care. I respect their trait of always being the emotional support for the group. I also respect the trait of men willing to open up and break the silence about their own suffering.

It is crucial for men to take care of their mental health because we often internalize our emotions instead of expressing them. We don't want to be a burden. It's easier to act normal and pretend the situation isn't affecting us. We often say everything is fine, even when it might not be, for the sake of our families and the people around us. We don't want to face the truth in ourselves.

For part two of this conversation coming soon, I want you to think carefully about this. With everything we do and care for, how much of that care is for ourselves?

Think about it, and we'll continue this conversation.

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