I had a post all ready to go for today, but then I saw that today was International Men’s Day. It was trending on Twitter, so I checked out the hashtag to see what the message and theme was – honestly, I wanted to see why it existed at all.
And it was beautiful. It was beautiful because the posts I was reading were not the ones I thought I would. It wasn’t a bunch of men just posting about how great men are. It was all different organizations and individuals of all genders recognizing men in every single way they exist, imploring men that it is okay to seek help. Of course, what immediately caught my attention were the mental health posts, but those also come back to a fundamental theme: that it can be difficult for men to ask for help. And that is still unfortunately very true in society.
There are plenty of reasons why it’s difficult for men to ask for help. I’m not going to run down the list of reasons why and the history behind it because to me, that doesn’t work for me. If something needs to change, I’m more concerned with how we can change it than how it came to be in the first place. And make no mistake – things need to change.
The suicide rate is four times as high for men in America as women. It is the seventh-leading cause of death for males. Those statistics are troubling, but what would be even more troubling is if we didn’t try to change them. While International Men’s Day is about health in general, it all comes back to a willingness to talk. Whether it’s mental health, other health, insecurities or life struggles, we can all benefit by checking in on the men in our life. By doing this, we’re letting them know we care and that we’re here to help. And I don’t know about you, but that’s very much a message I can get behind.