Men’s mental health is crucially important, but often overlooked and misunderstood. It’s time we break down the barriers and have a real conversation about it, so here we share some important ideas when it comes to thinking about men, mental fitness, and emotional wellbeing:

Men Should Feel Anger Sometimes – That is Normal and Healthy

It’s completely natural to feel angry at times. Anger is a normal emotion, and it’s okay to acknowledge and talk about it. The key is understanding how to channel that anger constructively rather than letting it simmer (avoiding it) or explode (lashing out in ways that we later regret, or aren’t in line with our values). Talking about what’s bothering us can help us understand why we feel that way, and also helps us to address things that we find hurtful or challenging in a way that can grow and deepen our connection to others, and ourselves. 

Men Can Be Victims of Abuse, Too

This is a tough one to talk about, but it’s crucial. Men can experience abuse in various forms – physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and verbal. It’s important to recognise that abuse doesn’t discriminate based on gender. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, it’s important to seek help and support. You’re not alone, and it’s okay to reach out.

Even Seemingly Successful Men Get Anxious, Depressed, Suicidal, and Scared

Success doesn’t shield anyone from mental health challenges. Behind the facade of success, many men struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and fears. These feelings are real and valid, regardless of outward appearances.

Men Feel Guilt and Shame, Too

Guilt and shame are powerful emotions that can weigh heavily on anyone. Men often feel pressure to appear strong and infallible, but it’s important to recognise that everyone makes mistakes and faces challenges, and has doubts about their abilities and about how other people feel about them. It’s normal to feel guilty from time to time, but it’s also important to find ways to turn that feeling into healthy, helpful action – such as reaching out to apologise or try and repair any relationships. 

It’s also important to find ways to accept that we are all human, men included, and we will make mistakes and disappoint others from time to time. Accepting our limits, and learning to forgive ourself and learn from our experiences is also key in being able to move on from feelings of guilt, rather than get stuck in them alone. Talking about these feelings with someone you trust can help lighten the load, as well as taking meaningful action to repair broken or hurt bonds – if that seems relevant to the situation.

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Men Who Are Laughing Can Also Be Experiencing Painful Loneliness

The person cracking jokes or always being the life of the party might also be struggling with profound loneliness. It’s not uncommon for men to mask their pain behind humour, indifference, or a facade of cheerfulness or strength. Check in on your male friends, even if they seem fine on the surface. Genuine connections and meaningful conversations can make a world of difference. Talking a little about your own challenges can also help to crack open the door that allows other men around you to start sharing their private challenges – and this can be liberating, validating, and humanising for many men to experience.

Men Need Connection, Love, and Safety, Too

Contrary to some  stereotypes, perhaps, men deeply crave emotional connection, love, and a sense of safety. Building and nurturing supportive relationships with friends, family, or a partner is essential for overall fitness and wellbeing. It’s not always easy for men to express their emotions and vulnerabilities, and building up trust in relationships is an important base that then allows many men to start talking about these things. 

Again, seeing other people around them opening up about challenges can be an important experience for many men to finally start opening up themselves, which can be so healthy and liberating. However, it is important that when men in our lives do start to open up, we are able to listen to them patiently, carefully, without jumping in to judge them, retaliate, try to invalidate what they are saying, ‘win the argument’, etc. Sometimes we just see things differently – but learning to share those different viewpoints calmly with our words, and maybe some tears or nurturing touch, allows us all to learn to feel safe and nurtured with our friends and family – and that people we care about value us, even when we aren’t being exactly what they might want us to be.

Men Are Important. And Their Mental Health Matters, to All of Us

Men play a crucial role in our lives and communities, and their health matters just as much. By prioritising the mental and emotional fitness of men alongside women, and supporting each other, we create a healthier, more compassionate and connected world for everyone. 

Let’s keep this conversation going. Together, we can break down stigmas, support one another, and promote mental and emotional fitness, alongside physical fitness, for all men. Even with all our differences, we can be stronger when we are connected together – minds and hearts.

Where can I go to for therapy or counselling support, specifically with the needs of men in mind?

At Sydney City Psychology, we offer online and in-person therapy for men. Ready to embark on a journey of mental and emotional fitness, or just looking for a little extra support and room to explore things?  Contact us today to begin – honest support, so you can live well.