Men's mental health issues: time to open up and talk about it

Posted on November 7, 2016

In 2014 the Movember Foundation - a global charity set up in 2004 to raise funds and awareness for men's health - began highlighting mental-health issues in addition to cancer awareness. It has since become the largest funder of targeted mental-health programmes for men, focusing on prevention, early intervention and stigma reduction.

In the West men are still reluctant to speak about their mental health issues, although a number of male celebrities have been speaking out on the issue lately.

Former One Direction member Zayn Malik, who cancelled his October 7 appearance in ­Dubai, has struggled to "overcome my extreme anxiety" about performing. He also ­recently confessed to having an eating disorder during the band’s heyday.

The Movember Foundation believes that as society becomes more ­complex, more men experience ­mental-health difficulties, with suicide rates increasing and more men being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. According to Movember, men "struggling with their mental well-being ­remain hidden from services and are not being adequately supported or reached with current ­mental-health ­provision".

"That’s absolutely true, especially in the UAE and in the Middle East as a region," says Jared Alden, a psychotherapist at the German Neuroscience Center in Dubai. "It’s been considered a ­taboo subject for far too long and if we continue to pretend it doesn’t exist, men will continue to suffer with worsening symptoms."

Alden says that men tend to think that if they ignore emotional issues, they will go away, which is why they often wait until the situation is intolerable before seeking help.

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Category(s):Men's Issues

Source material from The National