Tips to help men find and get mental health care

Eric Galatas / Alfonso López-Collada | Public News Service
Professional mental health experts say that when people open up their feelings of depression and other problems, it is not about “correcting” the problem or changing the subject but listening patiently and actively. Photo Credit: Pixabay

DENVER – The STRIDE Community Health Center (‘STRIDE Community Health Center’) has joined the “Let’s Talk, Colorado” campaign, a coalition of more than 20 health organizations, and this year the emphasis is in facing some of the unique challenges that men face about their mental health. Dr. Erin Baurle, a psychologist at the “STRIDE” Center, says that men do not seek care as much as women, although the figures show that they suffer from depression, anxiety and other obstacles to their well-being, as well as the rest.

“The lack of mental health treatments overcomes any other health problems we have; people resist seeking attention and do not receive what they need to face problems and concerns that are very real.”

Baurle mentions that in STRIDE mental health is seen as part of general health and well-being, and certified mental health professionals face solidarity with medical providers during a patient’s medical visit. Six million men in the United States admit that they experience depression, and men are almost four times more likely to die from suicide than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the nearly one thousand two hundred Coloradans who died by suicide in 2017, almost 900 were men.

Baurle says that it is common for men to avoid being embarrassed to talk about their feelings directly or in formal settings, so resorting to a shoulder-to-shoulder approach can be helpful in bringing problems to light. He adds that a good idea is to casually tell the men in your environment – while you are driving, you are outdoors – that when they are ready you will be willing to speak and present to support them.

“But maybe being is not the moment you open the subject for the first time; Maybe it’s another time. And when it comes to you, it is important to really focus and listen, because men may feel sorry or ignored if other things are happening.”

He adds that cutting down the problems at the beginning of the cycle, when someone begins to feel very great stress, is a good time to seek professional attention before the problem worsens. Baurle says that a good first step to having professional help is to talk to someone who provides first level care. All 21 community health centers have on-site behavioral services, or arrangements with a community partner to refer patients.

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