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International Men’s Day
November 19th is International Men’s Day. This awareness day is for anyone who identifies as male and whose mental health may have been impacted by pressures associated with this. There are a high number of men who die from suicide each year and a very low number of men who seek treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
Society’s expectations and traditional gender roles explain why men are less likely to discuss or seek help for their mental health problems. There are many gender stereotypes about women – the idea they should act or look a certain way, for example – can be damaging to them. For years, men and women have gravitated towards certain jobs because they are considered women/men’s jobs. If you are capable and good at something, then you should be given to opportunity to do it!
It is important to understand that men can be damaged by stereotypes and expectations too. Men are often expected to be strong, dominant and in control. While these aren’t necessarily bad things, they may make it harder for men to feel comfortable reaching out for help and opening up.
At Aspiration Training we are aware that most of the roles we offer are in predominantly female based environments. We reached out to some of our male learners to hear how they felt working in these sectors and how they were still able to achieve their goals with these stereotypes. They said the following:
‘I’m very proud of what I’m doing in my job and proud that I’m also a male achieving these as I know some don’t see a young male doing this job often. I think starting from a school level promoting a care section job to young males would benefit in the promotion of males doing this kind of job because it wasn’t seen as a male thing to do when I was in school.‘
‘Although I am aware there can be a negative stance when looking at men in Early Years, it is certainly driving force to remove this. The stigma attached doesn’t come from the staff who work in the field. It comes from those who don’t. The staff I work with have welcomed me with open arms. Luckily within Early Years, there isn’t a job that only a male can do.’
‘I will admit, I do feel pressure being the only male role model. I hold myself to a very high standard because of it. As time goes by, I believe it will be a natural progression for more males to enter the role. It is a role that is vital and should not be looked at with any sort of taboo. ‘
If you’re concerned that you are developing a mental health problem, talk to your GP. It can be daunting, but most people find that speaking to their GP and getting help and support can make a big difference in their lives.
Here are some tips for men on how to deal with mental health issues:
- Reach out – chat to a mate when you start to hide yourself away
- Have a chat with someone who will listen and not ‘fix’ – a friend, family member or a helpline
- Keep up with your routine – or add a new structure to your day
- Get outside for a short walK
- Make a motivational playlist
- Stop and pause – take time to check in with your head by using mindfulness, writing or meditation.
All of the courses we offer at Aspiration Training are suitable for all genders. If you would like to get in touch about starting an apprenticeship with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the benefits of starting an apprenticeship here: https://bit.ly/30Ftv3m