Mental health issues can affect everyone. Although men are as likely as women to experience these issues, it is often undiagnosed.

Society generally expects people to behave in certain ways and adhere to particular stereotypes. In many cultures, men are expected to be strong and masculine and not to talk about what they are feeling. Needing help can be considered a sign of weakness.

Conforming to traditional views of masculinity increases the risk for men who experience mental health issues. Studies found that Veterans who adhered to these views experience more severe PTSD. They have also found that men who feel unable to speak about their emotions are less able to recognize symptoms of mental health problems in themselves.

The results of these social expectations are that men are far less likely than women to talk about the feelings they are experiencing and to seek help when they need it.

What are some of the Mental Health Issues Facing Men?


Depression is a persistent low mood which prevents someone from daily function.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

PTSD is a condition that is triggered by a traumatic event such as having been involved in combat. People with PTSD can experience flashbacks, anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts.

Signs that you or someone you Know is Experiencing Mental Health Issues

There is not always an easy way to know if your friend is experiencing mental health issues, especially as it is something that people find it hard to talk about. It can even be hard to know if you are experiencing mental health difficulties yourself. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Sudden changes in behaviour, sleeping or eating patterns
  • Persistent sadness or irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Extreme changes in mood
  • Loss of energy
  • Persistent physical symptoms, like headaches and stomach issues
  • Thinking about suicide

How to Support People with Mental Health Difficulties

The most important thing is that we create environments where everyone, regardless of their gender, is able to talk about the problems they are experiencing and knows how to seek help. Here are some basics on helping your friends:

  • Be open with your friends. Talk about your own issues and let your friends know that they can talk to you if they need to.
  • Look out for your friends. If you notice your friend’s behaviour changing or any other symptoms, ask them how they are feeling.
  • Challenging negative behaviours. When friendly banter oversteps the line and starts being potentially damaging, make sure you call it out. Try to challenge remarks that uphold traditional views of masculinity and make it more difficult for men to talk about their feelings.