“It’s up to all of us to step up to the plate when we think someone needs support.”

For May’s Mental Health Matters Month, Each Mind Matters created a new ad campaign, “Step Up to the Plate”, to raise awareness and encourage men to notice if a friend, family or coworker may need support.

Research has shown that men and women experience many of the same mental health issues; however, men are less likely to talk about their feelings and seek help for depression, substance use and stressful life events due to:

  • Social norms
  • Reluctance to talk
  • Downplaying symptoms
  • Not using services available

Because of this, warning signs can’t always be obvious and can be misinterpreted. Recognizing the signs that you or someone may be going through difficult times – as hard as it may be – taking these feelings seriously and reaching out for help is a sign of strength.

FAST FACTS

  • 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health challenge each year.
  • Over 6 million men suffer from depression per year in the U.S. Male depression often goes undiagnosed as they are more likely to report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, rather than feelings of sadness or worthlessness.
  • 82% of adult males in California had not had their mental health needs met in the past 12 months; 57% of adult males had not received any treatment, compared to 46.7% of adult women.
  • Middle-aged and older adult men die by suicide at higher rates and in larger numbers than youth. Although men in the middle years — that is, men 35–64 years of age — represent 19 percent of the population of the United States, they account for 40 percent of the suicides in this country.

STEP UP AND…

Take notice: If you notice your friend, family member or coworker may need support, spend time with them by inviting them out to do something you know they enjoy.

Take the time: Have a meaningful interaction. A study found that people who engage in frequent, meaningful, in-person interactions report feeling lower levels of loneliness and consequently better mental health than those who have less face-to-face interactions.

Be there: Listening to others in an open, attentive, and non-judgmental way makes them feel seen and heard and is a great way to increase feelings of connection. Learn how with these tips.

TIPS FOR YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Sweat it out: exercise has been shown to reduce stress and fight depression. Extra points if you do it outside. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.

Get a hobby: find something you enjoy doing other than your 9-5. The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology looked at employed and unemployed participants and found that social leisure activities rather than solitary ones slashed depression and psychological distress.

Guys’ night out: it’s more than just having a few drinks, it’s about talking about what’s bothering you and having a chance to connect with your friends. Research suggests strengthening social support networks can contribute to a healthier, happier life.

Help out: whether it’s volunteering or listening to a friend, offer to be there for someone else. Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression.

CONNECT ON SOCIAL

What are some of the ways you step up to the plate for your friends or family? Share with us by using your social channel and tagging @EachMindMatters. Not sure what to say? You can share one of these images of how these celebrities have stepped up to the plate:

For additional questions, please contact: [email protected].

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