Sharing – Male mental health undermined by friends’ desire to advise

Guys, let’s be honest, this statistic is just as true outside the UK as it is inside where this survey was done, and it’s proof positive that we aren’t doing something right.

The mental health charity surveyed 3,000 men and found that only a quarter would openly tell their male friends if they were struggling with their mental health.

And, there’s a reason. Too many of us, being men, feel the need to try and fix things. It’s our nature, and fixing something like depression is not a very easy thing to do. In fact, we can’t fix it for someone.

But, on the plus side, what we can do is actually pretty simple, and is profoundly powerful when we manage to do it right.

“All your friend wants to hear is that you’re there for them and your feelings towards them will not change. You don’t have to try and give advice, just be the good friend you’ve always been.”

When I was dealing with the worst of my depression, and going to therapy on a regular basis, sadly I could count on one hand the number of people, male and female, who didn’t change the way they interacted with me, when all I wanted from them was to just be there and have the same relationship with me that they had before. (And I’d still have some fingers left on that hand as well.) I craved a place where I could feel “normal” again, and not like some sort of freak show, and those places got to be few and far between. It only made it worse for me.

Just show up. Go to the game, catch a flick, invite them to the gym, or for a lunch. Continue to do the things you did before you knew they were struggling. It will mean so much.

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