Men's Health Week: It's OK to not be OK
Welcome to the month of Men’s Health! This week of June 12-18 is particularly focused on discussing men’s health and ways to support men in improving quality of life across all domains: mental health, physical health, social health, spiritual health, financial health.
Men’s mental health is everyone’s responsibility. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, ”the rate of suicide is highest in middle aged white men. In 2021, men died by suicide 3.90x more than women. White males accounted for 69.68% of suicide deaths in 2021.” This sobering statistic offers an opportunity to openly discuss suicide prevention and the mental health struggles that can plague men in silence.
Language is important. How we talk about suicide and mental health in general is significant to reducing the stigma and by default, increasing the likelihood that men will reach out for much deserved help. Some all too common phrases to avoid when discussing suicide and mental health are: “he committed suicide,” “suicide is selfish,” “he’s crazy/bipolar/lazy,” and “he’s a drunk/drug addict.” Instead, try to make a conscious effort to say “he is really struggling” and “he died by suicide.” Some questions to ask or think about instead of the aforementioned unhelpful phrases can be: “why does he drink or abuse substances?” and “how can I support him during this difficult time?”
Sometimes, when mental health is impacted, the other domains - physical health, social health, financial health, and spiritual health - are also negatively impacted. And other times, these other domains, when unmet, create for poorer mental health.
Men, it’s OK to not be OK. Please know that you are worthy of care and support. With that knowledge, allow it to help you make the courageous choice to reach out for support and professional help.
Here are some resources to address mental health concerns and financial health concerns:
Here are some ideas to explore and connect to spiritual, physical, and social health: (*prior to engaging in physical activity, please consult with your primary care physician to obtain medical clearance for physical activity):
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” - Brene Brown.
If you are interested in counseling, call OakHeart at 630-570-0050 or 779-201-6440 or email us at Contact.OH@OakHeartCenter.com. We have counselors, psychologists, and social workers available to help you at one of our locations in North Aurora, IL, Sycamore, IL, and/or via Telehealth Online Therapy Services serving Kane County, DeKalb County, Dupage County, and beyond.