Both men and woman can endure incredibly stressful situations. However, men are traditionally more ‘stoic’. They put on a ‘good face’ and ‘soldier on’. Unfortunately, this is something boys are often taught from a very young age. It’s not that woman don’t try to push through emotional pain, but thankfully, woman more often recognize when they are in trouble and do seek help. The fact that men are much less likely to seek help results in a rate of suicide that is almost double in men This is also true with the rate of substance abuse.
This moving story, by Kevin Braddock, in The Guardian, about his struggles, offers more statistics, some insights about why men don’t seek help and perhaps provides some insights on how we can do better.
We have to encourage our boys/men to be honest about what they are feeling. That means we have to be compassionate and non-judgemental about what they share with us. We must offer more accessible help. This means available, affordable and non-stigmatic. This means that employers accept that, as physical health issues, mental health issues can be successfully addressed and that it is in their interest to support employees who seek help. It means that we offer family support when a partner or parents seeks help. It is not simple. In fact, the answers are complex, but we either look for and implement things that will make a difference or we choose to accept the loss of some of our best and brightest.
Work with horses can be a powerful intervention for children, teens and adults. In a non-judgemental environment, boys/teens/men can engage in a bonded and affectionate relationship with a warm and engaging being. Yes, horses can be very affectionate and do recognize the humans they interact with. Our clients learn how to ‘read’ their horse. They can note when their horse is feeling worried, eager, uncomfortable, etc. and can talk about when they many have these feelings in an open and accepting situation. Our clients become more confident, better able to deal with frustration and more open to considering different options when faced with a challenge.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, seek help! We are here and can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan. If you would like, we can schedule a visit for you. We’ll show you around the ranch, introduce our horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email us today.