Live, Life, Well: Barriers to mental health care for men

Men are 3-to-4 times more likely to die from suicide
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:05 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The latest Centers for Disease Control health report finds men are 3-to-4 times more likely to die from suicide than females. And that’s the topic of this Live, Life, Well.

The new study found that from 2009 to 2019, suicide rates among males increased for all age groups. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baker says men face barriers to getting mental health care. For many men just admitting there’s a problem is a sign of weakness. Men are not likely to tell a friend about the problem. If they’re seeing a therapist, they are less likely to share that information too.

Dr. Baker also says a spouse, mother, or sister will often notice a mental health problem in men and not be sure what to do next.

“The best thing we can do is to listen, and that also means we may need to slow down. Stop talking, stop talking so fast. Wait for him to respond before you say something. That’s just so critical,” explained Dr. Baker. “They find it difficult to ask for help. And in many, many situations that I have known and been involved with, that was the issue. People didn’t ask for help until it was too late. And then I’m seeing the partner, I’m not seeing the man.”

One other trait in men who are depressed or anxious; they won’t say I feel sad all the time. Instead, they may say, I just don’t care anymore about something they used to love... like sports. That’s often a sign that there’s anxiety or depression.

Dr. Baker and Good Dads will focus on Men’s Mental Health in 2023. You can find her podcast here.

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