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Experts speak on men`s mental health

Experts speak on men`s mental health

Story by Grace Sibanda

EXPERTS have confirmed that societal expectations are contributing to the increase in cases of mental illness, drug abuse and suicide among men.

As the focus shifts to men’s mental health awareness month this November, it has emerged that men’s mental health is being neglected due to social norms and stereotypes of masculinity.

Experts are convinced that the suppression of men`s feelings created by these societal barriers are contributing to an increase in cases of drug and substance abuse as well as suicide among men.

“We are investigating several suicide cases. We suspect that men do not share their problems due to the social fabric hence they are pushed to the abuse of drugs and go to great depths thus ultimately leading to suicide. This has a lot to do with their social and mental health and it is in this vein that we call upon men to go into groupings and discuss problems and also to report to the police any issues that may need intervention and to also seek counselling services. If we work together we can see a reduction in the number of male suicides,” said ZRP Public Relations Officer, Inspector Abednico Ncube.

Zimbabwe Gender Commission Matabeleland co-coordinator, Mr Dalubuhle Sibanda expressed concern over the stigma attached to men`s mental health.

“We encourage men to speak out about their problems so that they may find help. What has caused many suicides is that men keep what bothers them inside, the same problems women go through are the same that men go through so we should accept to offer help to men so that we uproot the root cause of these prevalent suicides,” he said.

November has been set aside to raise awareness on men`s mental health, with calls for society to change its patriarchal perception to reduce mental illness and suicide cases among men as well as curb the menace of drug and substance abuse.

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