International Men’s Day 2020: Better health for Men and boys
I read this piece on a social media page…
“Don’t be ashamed to MENtion it,
If you feel that you can’t MANage,
Please talk about your feelings,
Rather than soldiering on and trying to silently cover the damage.
Open up, don’t MAN up,
Save each other and save yourself,
MEN too are huMAN,
And need to be honest about their MENtal health!”
And like it did for you, this piece did inspire a lot of people!
19th November is celebrated as International Men’s Day. International Men’s day is celebrated for creating awareness about the mental health of men and for promoting gender equality. “Better health for men and boys” is the theme for International Men’s day 2020. International Men’s day is celebrated to honor the men who are working towards bringing positive changes into society along with raising awareness related to gender equality
Men are the victims of societal norms, patriarchy, mental health, suicidal issues, and whatnot. International Men’s Day came into the picture in 1960 and started celebrating in 1999 by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh.
Significance of International Men’s Day
There are six pillars of International Men’s day including positive male role models, creating awareness, fighting against discrimination, improving gender equality and relations, and more.
Image Source: Tbsnews.net
The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day are:
1. To promote positive male role models
2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions
3. To focus on Men’s health and wellbeing
Also Read: The Power Of Storytelling On Mental Health
4. To highlight discrimination against males
5. To improve gender relations and improve gender equality
6. To create a safer, better world
Men Mental Health and Wellbeing
Studies show that men do not reach out for help at all; maybe this is one of the reasons that the number of suicides is higher in men than women. Fighting with mental illness becomes more difficult because it’s not the only illness that must be overcome but must endure the attached humiliation as well. Around 1 man in 8 men has depression in Australia which results in taking their own lives in the end.
One topic which is trending for years is around the masculinity of men and the pivotal role of boys. Talking about these traditional attributes, roles, and behavior have both negative and positive aspects. Leadership and courage are some of the positive good qualities. Meanwhile, making vulnerable and suppressing emotions are known to be negative qualities.
However, we should all work together to break the chain of toxic myths of masculinity and start focusing more on the healthy mental health of men. Regardless of gender, we should understand that:
- Anyone can cry.
- Talking about feelings is not a sign of weakness.
- Anyone can seek help or support whenever needed.
- Feeling down or sad is not only a woman thing.
- Everyone should have the willpower to control situations.
- Stress, anxiety, and depression can happen to anyone.
A Communal Shift
To shut down the increasing mental health in men and boys, we need to openly acknowledge the fact that traditional ideas of manhood damage the mental health of men. Dr. Flood mentioned that “building an in-depth understanding of masculinity while challenging harmful gender norms and outdated beliefs about what it means to be a real man, plays an integral role in changing things for the better.”
We cannot deny the fact that we have been consciously or subconsciously encouraging unhealthy masculinity for decades. This harms the mental health of men and boys. Gender inequality takes place from childhood and results in long-lasting impacts.
Also Read: Sleep and Mental health | Are They Related?
In this regard, Dr. Flood mentioned, “children are socialized into gender roles, through parental treatment, observation toys, media, social norms, social institutions and law, and policy.” Hence, there is a need to debunk restrictive notions of gender in our society to raise and educate the younger generation with improved mental health and gender equality.
Promoting healthy masculinity
There is a need for a cultural shift wherein all the qualities are actively encouraged and valued in both genders. Additionally, the promotion of healthy masculinity and celebrating positive role models is the need of the hour.
I hope this blog helps you all to understand the need for gender equalities. If you liked this article, do not forget to share the link with your peers and family members. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.
Happy International Men’s Day!
More power to you.