Conversations about mental health have been more open in the Philippines in general. But compared to women, men are less likely to seek help for mental health difficulties. This scenario leaves less opportunity to seek genuine support systems for those who need it.
In 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that deaths caused by suicide rose by 57% from 2020. The figure heavily showed the importance of talking about one's mental health specifically, in men, who find it difficult to open up about their mental wellbeing.
There is still a lingering stigma around mental health thus, preventing people from seeking help. A man who opens up about his mental health are sometimes mistakenly viewed as "not manly." He can be perceived as being too dramatic, emotional, or feminine. This leads to the lack of more open conversation about men’s mental health.
There is no panacea to curing mental illness, but there are ways we can address it. So, let’s normalize men talking about their problems and seeking professional help this International Men’s Day!
Cheers to all men who, despite odds, remain strong and great. You are loved and appreciated.
If you or anyone you know needs emergency mental health support, you may contact the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline 1553 (Luzon-wide landline toll free), 0917-899-USAP (8727), 0966-351-4518, and 0908-639-2672 or a mental health professional.