Home > News > Checking Up on Mens’ Mental Health

Checking Up on Mens’ Mental Health

Jordan Minor

The month of November commemorates and honors mental health for men. Mental health ultimately includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being; it affects how  people feel about themselves, how people act, and how people think. Mental health determines  how we handle stress and relate to others.  

Mental health is important in every aspect of life and it is something that should not be  neglected and ignored. But for many reasons men often get forgotten about when it comes to  mental health.  

Ziggy Reid, a junior on the Merrimack Men’s Basketball team, talked about his  perspective on mental health and the journey that he has taken in regards to his growth as a  young male adolescent. 

“Growing up you know you’re always told to get up and keep it pushing no matter what  as a boy. You almost never really have time or the opportunity to address feelings and what is  going on with you. Crying and expressing your feelings was kind of like a sign of weakness, as a  boy you just didn’t do that,” Reid said. 

The stereotype behind men is that they aren’t supposed to show emotion at all; but if they  do it isn’t nearly as much emotion as females display. There is also a conception that men simply  do not address their feelings and emotions all together. 

“I mean looking back on it if I didn’t have basketball I really don’t know what I would’ve  done. Basketball was my outlet, it was my way to let out all of my emotions and feelings and  cope with everything else going on in my life. Looking back on it, it may have not been the best  thing to do because I put so much pressure on myself when it came to basketball,” said Reid.  

With the topic being addressed more throughout social media, men have started to feel  more comfortable with addressing the struggles that they have with mental health. With 

individuals feeling more comfortable in addressing their struggles and feelings when it comes to  mental health, they are able to cope more effectively and find ways that leads to healthy growth  and progress. 

Trumayne Guy, an offensive lineman for the Merrimack Men’s Football team, discussed  how social media has helped him in his journey with mental health.  

“Seeing so much acceptance and acknowledgement on social media platforms makes  others like myself much more comfortable embracing your own struggles and battles with mental  health. Seeing so much support really helps you accept that it is something that you need to  address,” Trumayne said.  

Helping bring awareness to a problem as big as mental health helps others embrace their  own journey with mental health. 

“It makes you realize that you’re not alone in this and a lot of other people are going  through the same exact thing that you’re going through. People tend to run away from the subject  because it makes it seem like you’re a problem that needs fixing,” Trumayne said. The feeling of  embarrassment and looking at oneself as a problem is one of the many factors that make  individuals timid to talk about mental health. “You aren’t a problem that needs to be fixed, but  you want to do everything in your power to get to where you are at your healthiest mentally and  physically everyday,” said Trumayne. 

There is not one way to combat mental health struggles. Everyone is different and  everyone’s journey is different therefore many people have different ways of coping and  managing their mental health.  

Ziggy talked about how he handles his struggles with mental health on a consistent basis.  

“Through a lot of trial and error I found what works best for me: meditation. I first started  closing my eyes and being in a quiet space for one minute and now I’ve worked myself to be  able to do it for about 10 minutes,” said Reid. Meditation is a practice that everyone can  incorporate in their daily routine to be mindful. “I just find myself so free and at peace after  when I’m done and I feel like weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It is a time where I am  able to become more mindful of my thoughts and feelings,” Reid said. Ziggy also talked about  taking a minute to reflect on his day before he went to sleep to acknowledge what he is grateful  for.  

It is becoming more acceptable for men to openly take pride in their mental health. There  is no longer a need for men to go through their battles quietly alone, acting as if they are  completely fine when in reality they are struggling. 

There is nothing wrong with struggling when it comes to mental health; actually the first  step is sometimes acknowledging that someone is struggling. Therefore they are then able to  come up with a plan that promotes their health mentally to the best of their ability.