Societal norms and expectations have had the detrimental effect of encouraging men to “be strong”, “man up”, and avoid reaching out for any help. This is problematic, as it results in an larger number of men experiencing deteriorating physical and mental health rather than actively seeking help and treatment. Of course, it isn’t your responsibility to make sure the men in your life are taking care of themselves, and men are grown adults, so can’t be forced to seek out help if they don’t want it. But sometimes a little encouragement can help them to do what is right.
Here are a few areas that you should consider focusing on.
Encouraging Him to Visit the Doctor
Studies have found that men visit the doctor 32% less than women. Considering people of all genders experience illness at some point or another, this indicates that men avoid reaching out for medical support despite potentially needing it. This is why you should encourage your male friends or relatives to visit a professional practitioner as soon as they notice any negative symptoms arise. It’s a good idea to be familiar with men’s health concerns, as well as general concerns, so that you can alert your loved one to any changes you may have noticed, or so that you can identify potential problems if they express complaints to you.
Encouraging Him to Keep to Routine Appointments
There are routine appointments that we all need to attend, so it may be a good idea to book your loved ones in for a check up in the next available slot to your own. This can go for dental appointments, opticians appointments, and other general health checkups. Having company during travelling to the appointment and company in the waiting room could push men to actually attend their appointments.
Encouraging Him to Open Up Emotionally
Men are much less likely to report problems with their mental health and wellbeing than women are. This could be part of the reason that men are 78% of individuals who commit suicide are male, while only 22% tend to be female. This, of course, is an extreme, but things can quickly escalate if an individual feels that they have to bottle things up and put on a brave face, no matter what is going on in their life, or how they are actually feeling. So, it’s important that you ensure your male loved one knows that they have plenty of people who they can open up to emotionally. You, of course, can be a first port of call. But they should be able to be open with their friends, with their employer (if they feel that mental health issues are proving detrimental to their performance at work). If they want someone to speak to anonymously and confidentiality, there are also plenty of help lines out there that operate around the clock.
These are just a few areas to focus on. Societal expectations result in many problems, and these are just some of them. So, it’s time to break them and encourage the men in your life to seek help when they need it!