One topic that is extremely important but sometimes gets neglected is mental health. But what is it? In my opinion, mental health means something different to every person. It is something we deal with every day with stress, workload, body image, self-worth, relationships and our bank balance all mixed together.
Are we the generation that needs the most validation? In a world of social media where everyone feels they must put forward the best version of themselves. Likes, favourites, retweets, shares are now all part of our vocabulary. Profile picture changes, tweets, Instagram, Tinder all tools we use to seek this. What is the end goal? This blog is not an answer to these questions but rather a starting point in the discussion.
As men, it is often said that it is harder for us to speak out about our feelings. How do we protect ourselves? It can be difficult to put ourselves out there as we feel we will be judged by our friends and it is often easier to keep the mouth shut and stick to the simple lad banter. Having the craic and slagging each other are all a part of every male friendship. But it can come to a stage where a person can feel the pressure of their problems building up and feel they cannot share it for fear they will be mocked.
Troubles in life like work, college, sport, relationships can be a starting point. Being open about things can be a release but can also be a terrifying thing for a person to do. Making your problems public is not for everyone and we have to understand not everyone wants to discuss what is troubling them, but everyone has the right to be able to talk to someone who cares and will help them.
I feel we lack the proper education with regard to looking after our mental health. Too often people do not know where to go to seek advice or ask for help. Recent mental health awareness campaigns have shown that the country is hungry for a change of attitudes towards mental health. This is only a starting point. The GAA have been a great example in making strides towards a positive attitude. But it is not enough, education about mental health should be taught in schools from an early age.
When it comes to mental health the most underused tool is the KISS rule (Keep it simple stupid). If you are feeling down talk about it with someone you trust, if something works for you in regards to your health keep doing it, enjoy people's company, eat well and never forget everyone has problems and it does get better. Your health is your wealth, spend it wisely.
Don't be a statistic! Look after your health by going for regular health check ups. For more information on men's health check out www.spunout.ie/menshealth