Mental Awareness for Men

3 min read

In most African countries, mental health is not widely spoken about as often as it should. To some, it is viewed as an excuse to avoid accountability or as a mode of work avoidance. Majority of the people suffering from mental health end up committing suicide out of frustration and lack of adequate help. Research has it that more than 50% of the suicide victims are men. In Kenya to be precise, most men have grown hardy, rough and have been taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Men are seen as the strongest and are not supposed to be emotional. Ridiculous right? I know.

Everybody needs a shoulder to lean on irrespective of the gender. We all go through the same things; emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually and mentally. The society ought to learn and understand that mental peace is a priority to all. As we say it, no man is an island. Therefore, it is important to let people (men especially) to be themselves at their highest and at their lowest. Most importantly be there for them as they go through it. Isolation can cause so much damage especially because one fights their own thoughts alone. Men are social and emotional beings who deserve support when they need it. We are all different and have various different ways of coping up, learning, healing just to mention but a few.

Mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, Neurodevelopmental disorders and Schizophrenia all have a root cause that comes either from; childhood trauma, loss of loved ones or even personal experiences. We need men in our lives, as fathers, brothers, friends, lovers and children too. As a person make the men around you feel free to be themselves. Give them the time they need when they want to heal, take a break, re-brand, learn and also grow as individuals without criticizing the efforts they are putting in to get themselves better. Note:  criticism is an opportunity to get better but there is a perfect time to that. Let’s stop seeing men as immortal beings because it is primitive and unreasonable. The husband you love, the son you cherish, the father you respect, the brother you adore and the boy- friend you always count on, he is a human above everything else. We will henceforth talk to them, hear them out, help them when stuck, celebrate them for their success, encourage them when they do not accomplish desired goals and most importantly love and accept them for who they are. A mentally stable man, is harmless and safe to be around. Mental stability is equally important to all genders. Stop the stigma and see the growth being loud and authentic even for you.   

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