Lifestyle

It’s Movember!

Internationally, the month of November is dedicated to men’s health and well-being. It is popularised as “Movember” or “No Shave November” to talk about issues like prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention among men. Post-pandemic, the sharp rise in mental health issues is a serious concern. To show solidarity and support, influencers and celebrities are using social media platforms for creating awareness around male mental health.

Recently, Ayushmann Khurrana advocated a campaign to prevent bullying in school and online violence that harms mental health. Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri spoke about the negative impact of the bubble life on the mental health of the players in recent interviews. As men dealing with mental issues are opening up about the challenges, many join the online conversation on this matter.

Men and mental health talk
Singer Razik Mujawar feels the halt on external activities like sports, workouts and socialising left most men isolated. The news of death, diseases, job loss and everyday uncertainty left a scar on many men. He says, “Male mental health was taken seriously after the number of suicides due to depression and anxiety went up in the past few months. Especially after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, social media was full of such posts. A lot of men try to self-medicate such problems with drugs and alcohol, but that’s the wrong approach. As a musician, I faced a lot of issues in the pandemic and felt depressed as work stopped and money was scarce. I used this time to make a few songs, picked up a new instrument, and did live sessions to talk about such issues.”

Calling patriarchy is a flawed system, Girish Dutt Shukla, author and a digital marketer,  says, “The traditional gender roles dictate that men are supposed to be strong- physically powerful and emotionally stoic. There are these unrealistic economic and social goals set for men and when they fail to fulfil them, they get depressed — because it is not expected of them. Anger and irritability — two of the most common signs of depression in men — are often left unnoticed as they are considered normal dominant traits in men. They bottle up their emotions and eventually it gets worse. This is exactly why men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. But yes, times are changing. It's good to see men breaking barriers and speaking for themselves.”

A month to talk about what matters
The idea of dedicating an entire month to normalise mental health as a subject among men indicates how hard it is for men to open up about such subjects. A lot of credit goes to the vast reach of social media and stories of men opening up about reality.

Author and co-founder of Huddle, Sanil Sachar, who writes about mental burnouts, schizophrenia and other issues on his platforms, mentions, “As a man who speaks about mental health, and hopes to get everyone to be comfortable not only in speaking but listening to others about mental health, I feel it’s important we help educate people about the nuances of the subject.”

I make it a point to write a short post, which could be an excerpt of one of my books or a new piece of work that reflects on what goes inside the mind, and vocalise thoughts constantly, through daily stories. The reason to do this since the first day of 2021 with no day missed so far is to reinstate daily that we need to be able to talk about mental health without needing to whisper about it or the need to feel judged.”

Taking control
However, VJ and actor Sohil Singh believes that most industries are going through a rebuilding phase post-pandemic, and due to which many companies and start-ups have shut down leaving a huge chunk of unemployed men and women. He says, “Majority of workers/labourers have lost their jobs; a lot of them were sole breadwinners of the family. It is not easy to survive in uncertainty, and all the pressure on these men and their mental health is growing more. I feel women are more in tune with their emotions while men are not, and just saying “koi baat nahi; ho jayega theek [that’s no problem; it’ll all become fine]” is not the solution. It’s very important to teach kids about depression so that they can understand when it's happening with them or around them and reach out to someone for support.”

The economic downturn and the fear of Covid have led to several mental health issues; some of these are apparent and some of these hidden. “Owing to the stigma associated with mental health many of us take it lightly and are hesitant to admit these issues,” feels Ashish Aggarwal, founder of Va-Yu.

I make it a point to write a short post, which could be an excerpt of one of my books or a new piece of work that reflects on what goes inside the mind, and vocalise thoughts constantly, through daily stories. The reason to do this since the first day of 2021 with no day missed so far is to reinstate daily that we need to be able to talk about mental health without needing to whisper about it or the need to feel judged.”

Taking control
However, VJ and actor Sohil Singh believes that most industries are going through a rebuilding phase post-pandemic, and due to which many companies and start-ups have shut down leaving a huge chunk of unemployed men and women. He says, “Majority of workers/labourers have lost their jobs; a lot of them were sole breadwinners of the family. It is not easy to survive in uncertainty, and all the pressure on these men and their mental health is growing more. I feel women are more in tune with their emotions while men are not, and just saying “koi baat nahi; ho jayega theek [that’s no problem; it’ll all become fine]” is not the solution. It’s very important to teach kids about depression so that they can understand when it’s happening with them or around them and reach out to someone for support.”

The economic downturn and the fear of Covid have led to several mental health issues; some of these are apparent and some of these hidden. “Owing to the stigma associated with mental health many of us take it lightly and are hesitant to admit these issues,” feels Ashish Aggarwal, founder of Va-Yu.

Source:

www.deccanchronicle.com

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