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Men’s mental health remains challenging topic

With another Father’s Day in the books this past Sunday, we would like to remind you that taking care of the men in your life is always important and that’s why June is recognized as Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

According to Mental Health America, more than 6 million men across the United States are affected by depression and anxiety. Those stark numbers are made even worse by the fact that men’s mental health still holds a stigma that says seeking help and taking care of yourself isn’t “manly.”

This epidemic of mental health struggles has real and brutal consequences. MHA says male suicides have been on the rise since 2000 and suicide is the seventh-leading cause of death among males, 2.2% of all male deaths since 2011.

Beyond suicide, other difficult situations arise due to untreated and unrecognized depression, including problems with alcohol dependency and drugs. Approximately 1 in 5 men will develop an alcohol dependency during their lives. Military veterans experience nearly twice the rate of alcohol and drug use.

While the stigma is still strong about men’s mental health, in recent years some notable names have come forward to shed light on this difficult topic, including famous athletes such as Kevin Love, Earl Campbell and Terry Bradshaw.

So, how can you help?

Experts agree the most important first step is to talk. Whether you are experiencing depression or a loved one is struggling, talking and creating a warm and welcoming environment can go a long way to help these issues.

Anyone interested in finding out more, including ways to donate to charities focused on mental health, can go to hhs.gov/mens-health-month-2024.

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