Movember Monday: Men’s mental health

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Each Monday during the month of November, News 8 is celebrating Movember Mondays — an opportunity to shed light on men’s health issues.

“No Shave November” and “Movember” are national campaigns to raise this awareness and to help start conversations with men and their families that may otherwise go unspoken.

In this week’s Movember Monday on Daybreak, Blue Care Medical Director Dr. Denice Logan talked about the importance of recognizing mental health issues in men.

“Men don’t usually talk about how they feel about something,” Logan said. “You can actually look at them and you are familiar with their surroundings; if they’re suffering from grief in any manner. Grief meaning the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, a new birth, a new death, divorce, marriage, loss of a job, all of those kinds of things.”

Logan adds that a lack of success in education or at work can be contributing factors to the start of a mental health problem. She says it’s important to notice when men begin to isolate themselves or become hopeless and helpless. 

“You need to reach out to them,” Logan said. “Let them know that they’re not alone. Share with them, let them know that you too are going through something that’s difficult.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men are nearly four times as likely to die by suicide than women. The rate of suicide is highest among middle-aged white men; they account for nearly 70 percent of suicides. 

“It is very difficult to talk about because remember we have always said, ‘real men don’t cry’,” Dr. Logan said about myths surrounding men and mental health. “Men have this masculine, macho about themselves. So, they will actually disregard or ignore some of those symptoms.”

Logan says that men need to walk the walk and get help when symptoms surrounding their mental health begin to interfere with their daily lives — work, home or education. She also says to notice your relationships. If your mental health is affecting how you interact with a spouse, partner, parent or your child, that too is a sign to reach out and get help. 

“When you call for help, make sure you say to that receptionist who’s answering that phone, ‘I have some mental health issues’ because you don’t need an appointment six months out,” Dr. Logan stressed.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and are in immediate need of help, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1.800.273.8255.

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