March 27, 2020

Black Men Who Need Help Should Not Be Ashamed Of Seeking Mental Health Treatment

A Deep Look At MEN And MENtal HEALth And The Lack Of…

James Harris

As an African American male who is a MENtal health professional, I have witnessed a fine line between the awareness and the stigmas associated with MEN not receiving medical treatMENt (MENtal and physical). Many of the MEN I know only go to the doctor for surgery or life-threatening matters. You can forget about them obtaining treatMENt for MENtal HEALth issues or concerns. There should be a fair amount of display between vulnerabilities as well as emotions when it comes to certain topics. I have been in case MANageMENt with an abundance of male clients throughout the years whom have a negligent approach. Now that I am in the private practice sector it has become evident that MEN continue to ignore their health unless a mother or spouse has deMANded that their male loved one utilize this service.

In a male dominated society, there is a lack of MEN attending physical or mental health
appoitments. Have you ever wondered why there is such a disconnect or stigma attached?


According to 2018 survey data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MEN were half as likely as woMEN to go to a therapist over a 2-year period. MEN are also more likely to admit to both never having contact with a medical doctor and not visiting one within the last five years. Just to point out, therapy is a space to talk to a professional listener about whatever you want. It’s confidential. It takes place behind closed doors with an expert. Which makes it seem sort of mysterious. Until you get started. Unless these thoughts are keeping you from it. This is how to move past that. The barbershop is fine and can assist but it shouldn’t replace a professional knowledge and assistance.


This could be for a few reasons:


There’s nothing wrong with me.”


I agree with you boss there isn’t but why not get maintenance? While they can be distressing and debilitating, there’s nothing wrong with having maintenance. Whether you’re in the middle of a MENtal-health crisis or just want to stay on the right track therapy is a step toward a bigger and better life. It’s about embracing life instead of trying to get through it. You may not see an issue but your children, spouse or coworkers may.


I’m too busy.


When you say you don’t have time, you’re really saying that other things are more important
than your MENtal health realistically. What do you have time for? There is a need to prioritize
certain things and your health should be one of them, whether MENtal or physical. If you’re too busy for therapy, it’s worth thinking about what you’re currently putting ahead of your wellness.


Going to therapy means I’m weak.”


MAN please, vulnerability and expression of your feelings does not make you weak. Is it “weak” to go to an accountant for help with your taxes? Or a mechanic for help with your car? The strong person is effective in their overall life. Think about all the other people you hire on a day to day to assist you in getting things accomplished, why wouldn’t your health be one that makes you less than?

Research has made evident the silent crisis in MEN’s MENtal and physical health. In RVA, I
have started the “MEN to Heal” (MENtal Health) movement designed to have open discussions in communities to address MENtal and physical HEALth stigma. The movement is now international, I have professional athletes and entertainers wearing my gear and buying my book.

Feel free to support the website is http://www.mentoheal.com and the IG: @men_to_heal. The moveMENt is not only for MEN, woMEN you can advocate for your son, father or husband as well and purchase a shirt or book.