Mental Health Awareness Month Puts Spotlight On Men’s Mental Health Stigma

Professional lacrosse player Kevin Buchanan saw teammates seek mental health help while at The Ohio State University from 2005-2008. (c) 2018 Andrew Rubino

Click the play button above to learn about the men’s mental health stigma and the celebrities trying to bring attention to it.

Audio transcript: Rubino_Men’sMentalHealth

By Andrew Rubino SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Mental health awareness month began today with the start of May. This is the first awareness month since two prominent figures spoke publicly about their own struggles.

NBA star Kevin Love wrote a piece in The Players’ Tribune in March, “Everyone Is Going Through Something,” documenting a panic attack and his ultimate visit with a therapist. Just days later, television host Carson Daly explained his own anxiety struggles on NBC’s Today.

Kevin Buchanan, a ten year Major League Lacrosse veteran, is glad to see Love using his voice for a good cause.

“I think he’s probably saying a lot that is just not being said, right. I think a lot of guys. You’re, you’re typically not the only one that is, is thinking of having any type of anxiety,” Buchanan said.

There is actually proof that shows men are often insecure when it comes to seeking mental health help, according to Syracuse University Assistant Professor of Psychology Sara Emily Burke.

“Depending on the specific symptoms you’re exhibiting, if a man is exhibiting symptoms that are seen as feminine, they might be less likely to seek help,” Burke said. “And there’s also some evidence that men even anticipate how others will judge them if they seek help or disclose their emotional states and may sometimes avoid help seeking for fear of being judged negatively.”

Both Burke and Rebecca Ortiz, an assistant professor of advertising at Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, realize society is far from having all men disclose their mental health struggles. Ortiz did state that a good starting point would be to better communicate with men.

“It’s about speaking with men, instead of at men. And I think that’s the case with any population you’re dealing with,” Ortiz said.

NBA star DeMar DeRozan has also advocated for men’s mental health awareness. The NBA created a video earlier this week featuring both DeRozan and Love to bring exposure to the start of mental health awareness month.