Mental health doesn’t care about gender


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) gets past Detroit Lions safety Duron Harmon for a touchdown during the second quarter on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photo credit: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Roman Acosta and Jazmin Taha

The idea that all men should “Man Up” and “Stop acting like a girl” is not a healthy mentality for a progressive society looking forward to bringing equality.

We’re all human, we deserve to be treated as one fairly regardless of gender, religion, and race.

On Oct. 31, Atlanta Falcons Star wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced that he will step down from playing football in the NFL to focus on his mental health.

The announcement was received with mixed emotions but some of the comments under his tweet are people judging him saying “if you cant handle the pressure of being a #1, ask for a trade,” or “what a wus. There used to be a time when athletes were warriors….now they do load management and take mental health breaks….and they get paid millions?”.

These comments just reenforce the belief that men need to be strong and not show emotion or they aren’t “real men”.

Times have greatly changed due to the pandemic, the importance of mental health has increase greatly and is being treated with the importance it deserves.

November is men’s mental health month, it is important to recognize the issues all men deal with mentally in their lives. No more of that “men don’t cry” saying, men shouldn’t be seen as weak for expressing their emotions.

It is not “feminine” it is being human to break down to others you can trust and explain what issues are mentally bothering you such as anxiety, depression, and discomforting thoughts.

Those who are fortunate enough to not be struggling with mental health should do the right thing and be there for someone who is struggling.

Bottling up your emotional problems won’t get you anywhere but in a deeper hole making those feel more lonely and even suicidal. It can lead to blow outs and in some really bad cases someone can get hurt.

Actor Will Smith was interviewed in 2020 over Jada Pinkett Smith revealing an “entanglement” in which Smith was memed by the internet and seen as a joke.

The meme and interview trended all over the internet and failed to realize how broken Smith looked at the moment.

Men dealt with hard times and didn’t have a choice but to face them head-on when times of war and depression came along. Those groups of men in our history deserve respect for helping pave the way to see better days in today’s population of mankind.

However, today’s population of men has had to live with the idea that no matter how much we are struggling we can not show weakness amongst our peers, a generational belief passed down from men who weren’t allowed to feel to get through the tough times.

That should not be the case today. Although some people don’t struggle with their mental health the same as others, men shouldn’t feel ashamed of asking for help and the time needed for themselves to get their mental health in order.

Advocating for mental health days from employers and being allowed time off to avoid increased anxiety, depression and burn outs is something everyone should do.

Better mental health means happier workers and increases morale at work. It is worth advocating for.

Everyone has feelings and it is important to listen to them when your body is trying to tell you that you need help.

We must take this month to focus on men’s mental health. It is a serious issue in our generation, showing your feelings isn’t going to make you less masculine.

Everyone goes through things and being able to process emotions in a healthy way the first time around will prevent future trauma.