Men Bring Attention to Their own Mental Health Men Bring Attention to Their own Mental Health

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – June is men’s mental health awareness month and experts and veterans are shedding light on the pressing need for  awareness and support for this often overlooked demographic. 

Dwayne Murray, a U.S. veteran and deputy director of the National Veterans Resource Center at Syracuse University, emphasized the compounded challenges faced by men due to the intersectionality of race, gender, and identity. He said those factors add an even heavier toll on mental well-being.

“You deal with the stigma of being in the military and being a veteran,” said Murray. “And then you add the layer of being an African American and there are already some cultural phenomenas that are out there that make it hard to be able to express yourself.”

Kenneth James Marfilius, a former mental health provider in the Air Force said the stigma around mental health goes beyond just this demographic. 

“This is a public health issue; it’s not just a military issue,” said Marfilius.

According to the National Center for PTSD, veterans who have been deployed are significantly more likely than civilians to experience mental health conditions such as PTSD or major depression. However, despite the prevalence of mental health struggles among men, they are often diagnosed with depression and mood disorders at far lower rates than women.

“Allowing folks or encouraging folks to seek help prior to worsening symptoms is crucial,” said Marfilius.

Thomas Berish, a pharmacist who has grappled with depression and anxiety, underscores the need for open conversations about mental health, especially among men. Berish tragically lost his brother Joe Berish to death by suicide in November 2022.

Thomas Berish said he and his family were unaware of some of the early warning signs.

“He had outbursts which we didn’t necessarily know was a sign of depression because classic depression is shown as laying around in bed all day,” said Berish.

Now, Berish advocates for more proactive measures to address men’s mental health issues, stressing the importance of initiating conversations and normalizing seeking help.

“Just starting the conversation and recognizing that it is okay. That is just the first step,” said Berish.

As the dialogue surrounding men’s mental health continues to gain momentum, the importance of early intervention and support cannot be overstated. If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out to 988, the suicide and crisis line, for assistance.



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