This data, from India, is interesting on two fronts. Looking at the numbers:
“The Ministry has published an internal report on the trends it observed since the launch of the helpline. It notes that most of the callers were aged between 15 to 40 years, with less than a fifth of them aged between 41 to 60. The nature of distress ranged from mild to severe among callers, but anxiety and depression were, overall, the biggest concerns reported by most. Other concerns “included pandemic-related challenges, suicidal tendency, substance abuse…,” the report said.
The report also states that the majority of the callers were men.”
One, it’s clear that talking about mental health issues is something that younger people are more comfortable with, and the prevalence of people under 40 who called this helpline shows that.
Two, the fact that this helpline was completely anonymous, and that most of the callers were men, would indicate that the stigma surrounding men asking for help is still alive and well, in India, and I would guess many other places as well. But, give them a way for them to discuss it anonymously, and they’ll be on it.
So how do we address that stigma so men don’t have to find an anonymous helpline and can talk about mental health issues among family, friends, and therapists.
That would really be progress.