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How a 'silent crisis' is impacting men's mental health

A survey from the CDC found only 15% of men received mental health care in the last year.
How a 'silent crisis' is impacting men's mental health
Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 16, 2023

Derrick Gordon teaches psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and often speaks about the "silent crisis."

His teachings focus on the mental health of men, specifically fathers.

"Men and fathers tend to live with their mental health crises in silence, and they don’t talk about it, and they tend to internalize it. And then it kind of exacerbates," Gordon said. 

recent CDC survey found 26% of adult women had received mental health care in the past year. Only 15% of men received that same type of care. 

previous study found that, of men who had daily feelings of anxiety or depression, only 2 in 5 sought treatment. 

Gordon believes there's not a lot of conversation about the struggles men face. 

"We talk about postpartum depression," Gordon said. "There’s some burgeoning research that shows that men too experience postpartum depression."

More than 100 countries have adopted paid paternity leave to help parents navigate the early days of having a new child, but that's not the case in the U.S. 

SEE MORE: 20% of US adults reported depression diagnosis in 2020, study finds

As the height of the COVID-19 pandemic moves further away, recent studies show more companies dropping paid leave for moms and dads. 

"I feel as if there needs to be a whole reshaping in the way in which we think about maternity and paternity leave," said Gordon, "and a reframing of that leave from a disability conversation to one of a strengths conversation."

There's a stigma against fathers sacrificing their careers to stay home with their families. Gordon says the same roots of that stigma keep many men from seeking help. 

The federal government hosted the "Giving Hope: Serving and Supporting Fathers with Mental Health Challenges" workshop to promote changing the narrative surrounding men and mental health. Gordon was a speaker for the event. 

"We also have to think about what the policies are that drive our actions and drive our behaviors," Gordon insisted. 

Godon believes that will help raise the alarm about the "silent crisis."

SEE MORE: The power of forgiveness: It can improve your mental health


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