How Therapy Is Helping Men Become Mentally Healthy
Nearly four times more men die each year by suicide than women. And in Canada, almost as many men die by suicide than by prostate cancer.
This is obviously a crisis that’s been made only all that much worse by the endless challenges created by the global health crisis. So much so that, according to a recent study by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the percentage of people struggling with suicidal thoughts has jumped from 2.5 per cent last year, to a worrying 6 per cent mid-way through this year.
And Canadian men, especially, are most prone to act out on those thoughts.
First Things First: It’s Useful
According to Toronto-based therapist Corey Turnbull, who specialises in offering counselling and life coaching to men, one of the main reasons men don’t consider psychotherapy a viable option for dealing with life’s obstacles in a more positive way, is because many consider it a waste of time. Talking about emotions simply doesn’t seem tangible enough to the practical (if uninformed) male mind. Which is why Turnbull says one of his key goals is to help men get more at ease with the notion of seeking out therapy as something useful – a tool, so to speak.
As for those men who do approach him for help, Turnbull says many seek out therapy because of issues associated with low self-esteem, a poor self-image, and body insecurity in general. Also, ever since people have been forced to remain in their homes for weeks and months on end, causing couples to spend increasingly more time in each other’s company, Turnbull says a surprising number of men have started raising concerns about relationships and communication.
A Difficult Start Is Normal
To those men hesitant about the use of therapy and asking for help, Turnbull’s message is one of realising first of all that it’s normal to feel out of one’s depth when trying to figure out how to first get started.
Even so, since a step-by-step approach is typically the best kind of approach, the therapist says a great first step would be to identify whether there exists a particular area in life requiring help more than most other areas. This will determine the initial focus area – whether that be anxiety, substance or even behavioural addiction, issues with low self-esteem, etc. And since Turnbull says many therapists offer free first-time consultations, it’s easy to determine whether it’s a professional relationship that’s going to work.