Mental Health Daily

In a society where traditional constructs of masculinity still exert a powerful force, stigma still exists around the idea of men receiving mental health treatment, or even acknowledging mental illness in the first place. Men have traditionally shied away from therapy, and psychologists have stated that pressures to be perceived as masculine continue to have negative effects on men’s health. It is one of the reasons that men face a lower average life expectancy than women, with higher risks for all 15 leading causes of death in the US. Extensive efforts are underway to combat this social pressure; it has been found that men benefit from group discussions about health and are often more likely to disclose their problems to male physicians. Men’s health programs such as those sponsored by Action for Boston Community Development also focus on reaching out to African-American and Latino males to help defeat stigma in those communities, along with creating a better understanding of how perceptions held by patients and physicians alike regarding gender affect treatment.

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