Men- are they an endangered species? by Rolando A Hyman MA, CCC, CT.
According to a report that was published in the province dated July-20-2016 seventy five percent of suicides in Canada are males. There seems to be a lot of statistical evidence but no real efforts to offer practical supports to this group of persons in society who are neglected. In my opinion this is an issue that requires some attention from all known advocate groups including human rights and government officials. In this article Dr. Rob Whitley assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University remarked that society needs to change just as much as men do. This is a powerful observation by Doctor Whitney that is packed with substance. If the society is going to change it will require determination and realization that what we are doing is not working. For many men today, hopelessness floats around in the psyche and taking the time to make change is not viewed as important until crisis hits.
An article dated May-08-2007 on the Canadian Mental Health Association website Stats Can Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health reported that there is only a one percent difference when male mental health is compared to that of females. One expert researcher Dr. Don McCreary co-chair of Toronto Men’s Health Network (TMHN), and associate editor of the International journal of Men’s Health stated at the time that there is a very sparse community or researchers who show interest in men’s issues. If this is a fact, why is it not being addressed from a political and judicial level to break this vicious cycle of neglect or lack of deliberate supports for men.
Willingness to be vulnerable
Society has promoted a false idea about what an ideal man should look like, how he should behave and what things are not manly for him to do. Within this belief system is packaged the idea that if you do you are a “real man” and if you don’t you are not a “real man” as the saying goes damned if you do and damned if you don’t. This has caused several generations to still be living in the era of the wild west where you need to be tough, don’t talk about emotions, hide your feelings, pretend to be someone who you are not make sure you got muscles and a six pack and once you are providing financially for your family leave the rest of the work to your partner “that is their role/job.” Men must become vulnerable and recognize that ego and humility are from two different backgrounds and you either feed the one or starve the other to grow. The issue is according to Dr. McCreary stands on the societal misconceptions that “weakness” is not an attractive masculine trait. Something to consider is the idea that maybe our perception of weakness is wrong because it is less beneficial if I need support and do not ask for it than if I did. Weakness is refusal to acknowledge my need for help and hiding behind my fears of the perceptions of society. Therefore, because men do not want to disrupt this cycle they remain in silence and self-destruct by finding refuge in alcohol, drugs, aggressive self-destructive behaviors, and womanizing. Why is it easier for men to do this? Because it is what is expected “this is what men do.”
Could it be that society has placed too much responsibility on males and they are clinging to the notion that you are not a real man if you complain as stated by Whitley. If the suicide rate continues to escalate and we keep losing the men in our communities then this results in one more home with a single mom, one more child that is fatherless, one more mother that has lost her son, one more father that is mourning the loss of a child. I would like to direct a portion of this article to the older more experienced men in the community who are the main carriers of this false concept in society that real men must be tough and independent. If we were to state, the facts this false sense of security has continued like a secret weapon behind the scenes that is eradicating our men from every culture like a global pandemic unidentified and unresearched.
Another interesting thought about how to overcome this self-destructive mentality is to challenge every man to ask themselves the question that could it be possible that I am wrong, and I am doing everything the opposite way? What is being a man means willingness to say I am wrong and admitting that I need help and talking about feelings and recognizing that I can participate in domesticated activities in the home. This question will not be considered valuable until all men become cognizant of the reality that with rippling effects starting with one catalyst. If each male becomes consumed with a passion to change and break this vicious cycle and overcome this insanity, (because we keep doing the thing the same way and expect different results), our homes, communities, the society and the globe will change into a healthier environment.
All men from heads of governments, to fortune five hundred corporations and spiritual leaders of all faith backgrounds and leaders of different organizations must see this appeal as necessary and important if we are going to save one more teenager from taking his life by suicide or going out to find refuge and become a part of the statistics for incarceration or a murder victim. If we take responsibility right now it will save another woman or man from being a victim of domestic violence. Taking this appeal seriously will make it possible for our daughters to have better partners who can give them the love they deserve that is not materialistic and fake. The challenge is all men must become more mindful that the way things are going needs to change and it needs to change with me. Therefore, are men becoming an endangered species? 100% and its up to those of us in the community to rally together and make a loud cry that its time for men to come out of their “comfort zones” and emancipate themselves from mental slavery.