12 Most Common Men’s Mental Health Challenges
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12 Most Common Men’s Mental Health Challenges

Though men and women face similar mental health challenges, men are less likely to connect with a professional.[2]

Despite evolving expectations, unhealthy traditional masculine norms emphasizing dominance, strength, and stoicism still impact men’s lives. Phrases like “man up”, “toughen up”, “suck it up”, and “be strong” have been ingrained since childhood, limiting men’s experience and ability to share negative emotions.

These unhealthy social norms worsen mental health issues by fostering persistent fears of appearing weak, increased shame and stigma, low mental health literacy, difficulty expressing emotions, self-isolating behaviors, and low rates of getting help.

In a society still influenced by the archetype of the strong, stoic man, men’s mental health often takes a back seat. Yet, alarming statistics reveal men’s mental health needs much more attention. For example:

  • Men account for about 7 out of 10 suicides globally.[3]
  • Suicide is the first or second leading cause of death for men under 50 in Canada, the US, and the UK.[4,5,6]

Although suicide in men has recently gained long overdue public recognition, it is only one part of the much large landscape within men’s mental health.

Enhancing men’s mental well-being not only fosters positive transformations within themselves but also radiates beneficial effects throughout their families, friendships, and communities. It also contributes to heightened workplace productivity and reduces aggressive or harmful behaviors.

This article looks at the most common mental health challenges and stressors men face.


Beyond the challenges themselves men may also turn to substances as a way to cope with stress, societal expectations, or unresolved mental health issues. This can be particularly pronounced during life transitions, such challenges of young adulthood, mid-life crisis, and retirement.

Here are some of the most common challenges men face, roughly in order from most to least common. (Challenges can also coexist with others or twist into negative feedback loops that reinforce unhealthy behaviours).

Please note the statistics cited below are only approximations and figures can vary widely within different populations (for example by location, occupation, culture, social circles, etc.)

Overlapping Stressors in Men

Beyond the issues above, the following stressors can also contribute to reducing men’s mental health.

Based on frequency of selection in our Stress Test the top five most common stressors are:

  • Lack of purpose or meaning in life
  • Loneliness
  • Relationship problems with spouse/romantic partner
  • Difficulties at work
  • Finance Strain

Other important stressors for men include:

  • Fatherhood and Parental Pressure:
  • Sexual Health and Dysfunction:
  • Bullying (in the workplace or school)
  • LGBTQ2S+ Specific Mental Health Concerns
  • Retirement
  • Other Health Issues (cardiovascular diseases, prostate and testicular cancers, and diabetes)

Navigating the maze of men’s mental health requires understanding of the multifaceted challenges men face. Recognizing the interplay of societal expectations, traditional gender norms, and individual struggles is essential for developing comprehensive strategies that promote mental well-being.

By openly discussing and addressing common mental health issues affecting men, we pave the way for breaking the silence surrounding men’s mental health.

Through conversation, compassion, and commitment to supporting men’s mental health, we can each make a positive difference, and collectively move towards a future where men’s mental health is not just a conversation but a priority.

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