Let’s talk mental health for men by Robert Phillips.

Mental health refers to your emotional, socially and psychological well-being. Having good mental health helps you lead a happy and healthy life. It helps you demonstrate resilience and the ability to cope with life’s curveballs. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Let’s look at some statistics. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has announced that the rates of depression amongst men in South Africa are at an all-time high. The number of men calling into their helpline is climbing alarmingly — up to 97 calls a day — and reports of men not only killing themselves, but taking their families with them, litter the daily newspapers. Research suggests that men are less likely to seek treatment for depression, a serious illness which can be successfully treated. Data also shows that men die by suicide at four times the rate of women.

Why is mental health so important for men?

Men are the “watchers” in society and often see a lot of society’s ill’s and so on. Our job is to protect our families and communities from the bad side of the world, so it’s very necessary for us to have clear thoughts and processes to lead and protect.

What mental health means to you?

Knowing your addictions and bad habits vs’s what is healthy for you.

What made you aware of your mental health and its importance?

Counselling made me aware that the abuse I endured during childhood affected me emotionally and mentally. I felt I wasn’t worthy and as a result did unworthy things.

Unheeded emotional problems can also cripple a man’s ability to fully function in society and within his family. It is especially important to focus on men’s depression because it can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for males ages 10-34.

What do you do to ensure your overall health?

Love is the cure! Love yourself. I keep away from unsafe situations that will derail me. I find my peace and love re-fuel from my family. My wife and kids drive me and I don’t want to disappoint them, so I do my best to have a clear mind to clear out the bad thoughts vs’s good ones.

Read the “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. It will give your clear path to a clear mind. Your actions are a result of your thoughts. I also gym as often as I can and find that my thoughts are clearer and it fills me up in the correct way to face the day. I find that during my gym sessions, I’m deep in thought about the day ahead and the day that passed. It’s my own quiet time, praying time, gym time, and meditation and so on which always me to find purpose and answers. They say cancer feeds off sugar, so I watch what I eat. Healthy living is about your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Most importantly, spend time with yourself positively. Be it reading, gaming or watching your favourite film, you have to detach yourself from your daily routine.

Tips for men:

  • Cry if you need too. It releases.
  • Go for counselling if you need too.
  • Don’t bottle up and keep secrets.
  • Find a hobby, whatever it is, and release pent-up emotions through this channel.
  • Know danger and deal with it.
  • Don’t dwell on past failures.

Benefits of Good Mental Health:

 Just as physical fitness helps our bodies to stay strong, mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health. When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it. We can be creative, learn, try new things, and take risks. We are better able to cope with difficult times in our personal and professional lives. Not only that, but we feel the sadness and anger that can come with the death of a loved one, a job loss or relationship problems and other difficult events, but in time, we are able to get on with and enjoy our lives once again.

Mental illness can be treated and prevented however, more often people do not seek treatment due to the stigma attached to the illness. Recently, it has been reported that very few South Africans seek treatment for mental disorders.

In South Africa, an estimated 9.8% of the adult population experience major (clinical) depression at some point in their life and despite treatment being available, only 25% have sought treatment and care for a mental disorder (such as depression) within 12 months.

Your mental health is an important part of your overall health and wellbeing. You need good mental health to help you get through life’s challenges, to have healthy relationships with others and to enjoy life.

Problems with mental health are common, and not a sign of weakness. Be Kind to your mind.

Robert Phillips.