Men’s Mental Health Month: Breaking Stigmas and Showing Support

Published June 4, 2024 by Zencare Team

While it’s true that mental health challenges happen to anyone, there are some general key differences between what these challenges look like for men and women. These differences come from diverging societal messaging about the role of emotions and well-being, with many social scripts pointing men away from acknowledging or exploring their mental health.

Men’s Mental Health Month aims to directly combat these social scripts and encourage men to take stock of how they’re doing. For this Men’s Mental Health Month, we’re highlighting some common barriers that men face when it comes to their mental health and accessing mental health services.

Male person with Caucasian skin and long blonde hair sitting on a coach wearing a blue button down, white tee, and blue denim. He has a smile and is looking towards a therapist.

When is men’s mental health month?

Men’s Mental Health Month was first recognized by Mental Health America and happens each June. This annual month of awareness encourages everyone – men, women and non-binary folks – to consider the importance of mental health for men and learn more about the challenges they face as well as what might hold them back from seeking the care of a mental health professional.

Men’s Mental Health Month also draws attention to the startling statistics around men’s mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, men die by suicide four times more than women. The aim is to drive awareness and increase engagement of services for men by knocking down stigma about mental health challenges and providing them with information about how to get help.

Barriers men face when seeking mental health support

One of the biggest barriers that men face when seeking mental health support comes from societal stigma which stipulates – extremely incorrectly – that men shouldn’t have emotions and don’t need help when emotions or circumstances are tough. Or that men shouldn’t show signs of vulnerability, as vulnerability is equated with showing weakness. With standard conventions glorifying the tough upper lip and strong stoicism for men, it’s no wonder that many men struggle to recognize intense emotions like sadness, loneliness, and anxiety.

Cultural expectations might lead to many men holding back from acknowledging that they’re having a hard time or expressing vulnerability, particularly with the contemporary scripts about masculinity that appear in media, especially social media. Some examples of this are celebrities and the roles they played that perpetuated these ideals like Clint Eastwood for the older generations, Joe Rogan for this current millennial generation. However, there has been a welcomed influx of role models in the public eye and mainstream media that show that expressing and working through emotions is beneficial. Some examples are Sterling K. Brown and his role as Randall Pearson in the show This is US, Chance the Rapper, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Evans and for New Girl fans out there, Winston Bishop.

Stigma as a barrier can be especially detrimental for men who become fathers, as there are heavy cultural expectations for how to raise children. Many men find the transition into fatherhood challenging from the physical demands to the emotional impacts. With the significance of growing a family, paying attention to mental health and seeking help when needed is extremely important.

Cultural expectations and stigma can be especially strong for LGBTQIA+ men, who not only face the stigma against mental health from being a man but also stigma against their sexuality. This leads to higher incidences of mental health disorders and suicide.

Outside of stigma and cultural expectations, many men simply lack awareness about mental health topics, not from their own fault but because information isn’t readily accessible. While there is a lot of content online about mental health, only a small fraction of it focuses on men’s mental health specifically. Additionally, not much of the mental health landscape is marketed broadly enough to reach or draw the interest of men – though some organizations are making great strides! Learning more about what mental health means and how different emotions might manifest for men can be a good way to check in on oneself.

It’s important to note that men don’t need mental health challenges to talk to someone about their mental health. Whether they’re talking to their friends or a therapist, opening up about feelings – even positive feelings – can be a great way to engage in vulnerability and find deep connection with others.

Common mental health issues for men

The common mental health issues that men experience are similar to the common mental health issues faced by the general population, including:

There are some notable signs of poor mental health to look out for men. This could include emotional signs like irritability and anger, and mood swings. Men might also show physical symptoms like fatigue or sleep disturbances as well as changes in appetite, whether that’s gaining or losing weight. Social isolation is an incredibly important sign to look out for, including at work.

Seeking help

A study in the American Journal of Men’s Health showed that men are less likely to seek help than women for their mental health. It is often difficult for men to acknowledge that they’re struggling and to reach out to mental health professionals for help. Even when suggested by loved ones, it’s not uncommon for men to avoid or put off getting help. It’s also possible that the lack of options when seeking help for mental health issues is in turn a cause of further mental health issues in men. Unfortunately, it might take a serious event to convince them to talk to someone about their well-being.

How to find mental health support

Finding mental health support – once it’s on the table – can be incredibly easy. With Zencare’s therapist profile, you can search through high quality therapists in your community. You can even filter therapists by topics like Men’s Issues, then get a sense of each therapist’s style through their introductory video. When you’ve found someone that you want to work with, you can directly book a consultation call and get a sense if they’re the right person for you. Zencare also has a secure messaging portal, so if you’re not ready to share your mental health journey, we’ll ensure your privacy.

How to support the men in your life

Because of the mental health symptoms experienced by men – isolation, lack of motivation – it can be hard on partners and families to help their loved one. Relationship conflict can also exacerbate mental health challenges, so it can be helpful to engage a third party when it comes to getting help.

For those supporting men to get help, it can be useful to learn more about men’s mental health and the general therapy options available. This might include individual sessions, couple's sessions, or even group therapy. You can also learn about specific therapy approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

You might also help locate various resources, including hotlines, online resources like forums, and the details of mental health organizations. While he might not be ready right now to go through these resources, having them on hand makes information and education more accessible when he’s ready.

At the end of the day, the best way to support the men in your life is to enable them to have strong support networks. While you’ll be a huge part of their support network, encouraging them to spend time with other loved ones – including friends – can be an impactful way to help them help themselves. Being around other men who speak positively about mental health and therapy can be a good way to decrease stigma about the topics.


Everyone’s mental health is different – it’s impacted by different parts of life and manifests in different ways. For men, there are some common themes when it comes to experiencing mental health challenges and barriers to getting help. By supporting a cause like Men’s Mental Health Month, we’re hoping to make it easy for men to learn more about mental health and take care of themselves.

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