On June 15, the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA Ottawa) joins organizations across Canada in recognizing Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This annual event aims to normalize conversations about mental health issues and reduce the stigma that often prevents men from seeking help.
As with most of the population, Canadian men report the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on their mental health. New research funded by Movember Canada this year revealed more than half (55 per cent) of Canadian men are experiencing poor well-being because of the pandemic, and at least half said they believe living through the pandemic may have changed their mental health forever.
Signs and symptoms of mental health conditions may present themselves differently in men. Men are more likely to describe their mental health concerns as physical symptoms such as headaches or chronic pain, which diagnostic tools tend to ignore. This link between signs of mental health issues and physical symptoms is often unrecognized and leads to undiagnosed, untreated men.
CMHA recognizes that societal pressures and stigma may make it difficult for men to seek help for their mental health and addictions issues.
To show support for Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day, everyone is encouraged to participate by using the #MensMHday hashtag on social media.