Let’s Talk: Why ‘man up’ and ‘be strong’ are hurting your overall health and goals

JACKSON, Wyo. — One of many possible songs to sum up 2020 might be Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” We are all feeling it. Work, COVID, relationships, kids home from school, kids in school, the not knowing—this year has put many of us under pressure.

Men (yes, we’re talking to you) are also under pressure when it comes to appearing strong, stoic, that no matter what, you can handle what life throws and continue with a smile. Covering your emotions with a laugh or a joke, anything that keeps you from having to voice your feelings.

By not sharing your feelings and thoughts with friends, family, co-workers, or a counselor, you will not live your most healthy life. Trouble sleeping, anxiety, stress, fatigue, loss of interest, increased reliance on substances, and irritability are all signs that you might be struggling with depression and/or anxiety.

It can be challenging to admit that you are struggling; however, it is crucial to recognize that you are not alone. Not even close. Six million men are affected by depression every year, and one in five develops a dependency on alcohol. From professional athletes and celebrities to construction workers and grocery store clerks, there is no profession, gender, or age that is not touched by mental health issues.

Realizing that you matter to others, but more importantly, every single person deserves to be healthy is essential. You cannot be physically fit and mentally struggling and be complete. Both your physical and mental health must be a priority in your life.

Sometimes taking those first steps are difficult, especially when you have gone decades without openly discussing your thoughts. Knowing that vulnerability is hard takes bravery, but you are brave, and help begins with small first steps. A conversation with friends, your partner, a counselor can be the beginning.

Recognizing mental health as a cornerstone to wellness and knowing that many in our community do not have resources or knowledge of services available; valley experts from local nonprofits and private practices have joined together to form Mental Health JH. This initiative and pilot project is supported and funded by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole and St. John’s Health Foundation. St. John’s Health Foundation is offering six free visits to local counselors for mental and behavioral health for anyone who works in the Greater Teton Region.

For more information, visit mentalhealthjh.com.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center’s crisis line, 307-733-2046, or the national suicide prevention hotline, 800-273-TALK. Those who need help can also text HOME to 741741 or simply dial 911.

About The Author

Sponsored by St. John's Health Foundation

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