It is important that we start focusing on Health Issues that affect the Men in our community. Globally on average, 1 man dies by Suicide every min, everyday.
Gay Males are at an Increased rate for a Suicidal Attempt especially before the age of 25. Men can experience different signs of depression such as;
loss of interest in hobbies, sexual desire or hopelessness.
It can also show up in more subtle behaviors; sleeping irregularities, restlessness, irritability and/or mood swings. Men sometimes can experience “Fog Brain” and difficulty concentrating or remembering.
Per nostigmas.org “These symptoms may persist despite medical attention. The Latino community is less likely to receive care for depression in comparison to other minorities: less than 1 in 11 seek help from mental health specialists and among immigrants, this is reduced to 1 in 20 . Among the Latinos who do access mental health care, only 30% return for follow up visits.”
Reasons for lack of Mental Health Care can often include;
- LACK OF INSURANCE
- LACK OF LATINO PERSONNEL
- INADEQUATE SOURCES OF TREATMENT
- IMMIGRATION & ACCULTURATION
I had the chance to ask a few questions from AJ Gutierrez, who specializes in psychology and is a Retired Army Veteran.
Why do you feel men are so reluctant to receive Mental Health Care?
It’s still very much a stigma, that we as men would be looked down upon. There is also the thought that I’ve heard constantly, “I don’t want to take meds. I’m not going to be a Zombie.” When they probably just need some counseling. Men internally defeat any possible assistance, before they even attempt to get help.
What are the most common symptoms that Veterans experience after serving?
I would imagine depression, anxiety, anger…probably a lot of maladaptive behaviors.
Are Latino Men in the service reluctant to seek care for Mental Health?Why or why not?
I wouldn’t say Latinos are much different than anyone else. From what I saw, active duty folks, nor veterans for that matter, really care about race.
What can we do as a community to be more supportive of Men and their Mental Health?
Treat them like human beings, with real consequences.
What would you like to tell any Man reading this,that is in need of Mental Health Care?
Go get care. I promise there is a resource, person or program that will help you. Money, transportation, etc are not reasons enough not to get care. Be the best YOU that you can be. You can only get there by knowing what areas you need help with.
It’s important to bring awareness that Depression is not a sign of not being able to control your emotions. Seeking help does not make you weak. Below are two resources. You can also visit a Mental Health Professional in Person.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (you can also chat via the website)
Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org) Or call 1-800-273-8255. They offer resources to the LGBTQ+,, Native American and Alaskan Natives, Veterans, Youth, Deaf or Hard of Hearing communities and have help in Spanish.If you are a Veteran you may also call Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Or Text 838255.
You can also visit the website directly that increases awareness on many Men’s Health issues, including Mental Health at Movember – Men’s Health – Mental health and suicide prevention.
On our latest episode of Latin Arte; Manuel Uriza, actor on Gentefied and Narcos Mexico, was asked if he had any encouraging words regarding Mental Health Awareness. He quoted, “It’s sad to see that we as a society have become desensitized to Mental Health Problems. It’s so easy for us to look away. We should never be desensitized to this!”
We see you and Stand with you. Many people may rely on you, but we need the best of you and support you!