Men’s mental health is a conversation that is often overlooked. In a country like Nigeria where most of us struggle with mental health challenges, men especially, are burdened with expectations that significantly affects their mental health.
We bring to you the five ways you can help the men in your life overcome mental health challenges.
1. We need to stop body-shaming men.
Body shaming men is becoming the norm of the day, especially on social media. We come across tweets and posts about what a man should look like. Standards have been set for what a man’s height, body build and penis size should be in order for him to be man. While we are against body shaming women, we must avoid body-shaming men especially over things they cannot change.
2. Let them know their financial status is not a direct reflection of their worth.
Men put so much pressure on themselves to make so much money. It’s no more about having enough but about having it in abundance. In Nigeria a man’s worth hinges on how well they can provide for the women in their lives. Men do not think they deserve loving relationships when they’re not financially buoyant. We however, believe everyone deserves love regardless of how much they have in their bank accounts.
3. Encourage men to speak up.
Men experience their fair share of sexual abuse and domestic violence. However, they do not speak up because society does not take them seriously. While speaking with my male friends, I realized a number of them had experienced sexual abuse as children. Although many of them do not reconise it, this sexual abuse affects men’s mental health in one way or the other.
4. Let them know they’re human too.
Toxic masculinity is a burden. There’s a myth that men are logical humans but that is not a human thing at all. Every human being requires emotions for decision making. Sadness, fear, amongst others should be emotions men should feel without being perceived as weak.
5. Tell men it’s ok to choose themselves.
Society has told men to be protectors and providers no matter the circumstance. Thanks to this, men continuously show up for everyone else but are barely there for themselves. We should encourage men to indulge in self-care and when necessary, put their needs first.
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