A well-known fact is that men are less likely to reach out for help, and at times, it might take many months before they make the first step towards recovery.
Boys don’t cry – we’ve all heard this, right? Expectations from society and the stereotypical male role model creates an image of a superhero, who is here to deliver for his family or colleagues, always be strong and resilient and remain solid during any storm. While these expectations are not necessarily bad, they often make it more difficult for men to reach out for help.
An interesting fact is that dads can experience postnatal depression too, and it is often undiagnosed. The peak of such depressions is three to six months after the birth, and the symptoms can look like the expected stress of having a baby.
A special category of men is at an even higher risk: those in leadership positions, business owners and entrepreneurs.
Without a doubt, the past year or so was challenging and transformational to many, and business leaders had to embrace uncertainty and remained composed no mater what the reality was. This didn’t come without a cost, and at times, the hidden cost of poor mental health.
Pride, fear of losing credibility and guilt are just a few of the reasons why leaders are not so open about their mental health. We can speak at length about the importance of being vulnerable at times, but this concept is still young locally.
Business leaders, backed up by good organisational culture, have the opportunity to be role models, and encourage other men to reach out for help instead of engaging in unhealthy coping strategies such as drinking, aggressive behaviour and even culminating in suicide. Sadly, nine out of 10 suicide-related deaths in Malta are men.
Dragan is an accredited Coach Practitioner with the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.carobconsult.com
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