November is men’s mental health. These prompts were created by “The Lighthouse of Poetry” which is an Instagram page dedicated to mental health poetry. Be sure to check out their page if this interests you!
What do you think creates the stigma around men’s mental health?
In Western culture, there is a powerful relationship between what we do as our occupation and our identity. Particular occupations like the military, police & corrections, and other first-line responders are plagued with men who struggle with their mental health inside, outside, and after their careers. We are seeing this toll in the rising numbers of men who take their own lives. I urge men to find a space to express their emotions in at least two settings:
Professionally and creatively. By having a professional, licensed counselor on your team, you benefit yourself, your loved ones, and everyone around you. It will take time and work, but you will find that the burden you carry is much easier to ruck with. Use art and creativity to siphon your emotions. You can paint and write angry, violent work to express your inner rage. These creative platforms are yours to manipulate as you see fit. Go wild with them, and you’ll see your emotional capacity expand beyond your wildest dreams.
What do you hope for men’s mental health going forward?
Let it be known that I am not a professional mental health counselor, and I do not know anything other than the little bit that I’ve studied and the weight of my personal experience. I can only hope that we find multi-faceted ways to treat our mental health crisis. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. In general, I believe that a holistic approach is essential, with a focus on mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. These avenues are individualized, and it may take some time to discover what works for each person. The hardest part is finding the resources and dedicating effort to the program that fits.