Men’s issues can refer to a number of concerns that may affect mental or physical health in men and that may cause them to seek therapy. Statistically, men do not typically seek therapy in high numbers. When they do, they generally report the same types of concerns that might lead anyone to seek therapy, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and relationship concerns.
Some mental health professionals may offer counselling services tailored to issues particularly relevant to men.
According to a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, the number of men who seek treatment for mental health concerns is significantly lower than the number of women with mental health concerns who seek out and use available resources. Research also shows that:
- Over 14% of American men experience some type of mental health challenge, and more than 3% of men face serious mental health challenges.
- While over 72% of women with diagnosable depression obtain professional care, only 60% of men with depression seek treatment.
- In 2012, American men were less likely than American women to utilize outpatient mental health services (5% vs. 9%) and less likely to use prescription medication (9% vs. 16%) for mental health issues experienced in the past 12 months.
- The suicide rate for men is four times higher than it is for women, despite most research showing lower rates of depression in men than in women.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate for white men age 85 and older is higher than that of any other United States demographic.
- Gay and bisexual men are at an increased risk for mental health issues compared to heterosexual men.
- African American men are more likely to experience a violent crime than white men, which may increase their likelihood of developing posttraumatic stress (PTSD).
- Men over 50 years of age are more likely to seek help for mental health issues than men between the ages of 18 and 25.
Some mental health professionals believe certain social and cultural norms as well as rigid beliefs about masculinity may prevent men from seeking help. Men may also have a more difficult time trusting or opening up to a therapist, a process which is necessary in order to discuss personal issues.