Recently, one of my favorite male artists was lost to suicide. Scott Hutchison of the Scottish band, Frightened Rabbit, struggled with his mental health for years. He recently toured in support of Frightened Rabbit’s album Midnight Organ Fight for its 10-year anniversary. People all over world loved Scott’s music and melodic artistry. It was devastating when he went missing and devastating when the news of his death broke.
I wanted to write about Scott, because in his music, he poured his heart for the world to see. His fans had witness to his struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts and breakups. They had witness to the good times as well. I don’t know if Scott was receiving mental health therapy. I do know however, that therapy can help men with the struggles of mental illness. I know that getting help and reaching out to a therapist can be an awkward thing for men to do because of years and decades of the experience that you are supposed to strong and be able to make it through and figure out your problems on your own.
Some men work out their mental health through exercise, drinking, making music, creative writing or working even harder at their jobs. Who do men get to talk to about their mental health? When do they get a break to let out their emotions, cry if they need to, and be vulnerable with another person?
When Men Seek Help for Mental Health
In a perfect world, that could happen every day. That’s starting to happen more and more every day. But, there’s still an err that men don’t need to be vulnerable. We want to change that thinking, we want men’s mental health to be a conversation that people are having every day. The experience of all men coming to therapy and getting help needs to be normalized in our society.
I think part of it is letting men know what to expect when they call or go see a therapist. Men can expect, like anyone else to initially be asked what’s going on. What brings them into to want to talk to a therapist? The first appointment will likely be your therapist getting to know a little bit about you and learning more about your history and current concern. It’s a chance for men to feel out the therapy process and initially be heard.
For some men, being open and transparent about what is bothering them can be difficult to do or talk about, so allowing yourself a few sessions before you decide if therapy is right for you can be helpful. Not all therapy is about opening deep wounds from childhood. You might not have deep wounds from childhood that you need to talk about. Sometimes therapy is more solution focused therapy to process current situations in life.
What’s So Great About Therapy for Men?
The most important part of therapy for most of men is that they get a chance to be heard. There’s no expectation of being strong and never showing emotions in therapy. There’s also not an expectation that you are going to sit in the chair or on the sofa and start crying. There’s really no expectations about how emotional you are going to become in therapy. The expectation is that you will finally have a safe space to open and honest with yourself about what’s happening in your life or upsetting you. You can be open and honest about the pressures you are facing and how they mold your actions and expressions. Therapy is a safe space to feel.
Where and How Men Can Reach Out for Therapy
I don’t want to make any assumptions about Scott’s death. I don’t want to make any assumptions about your current situation or emotional self. I do want you to know that there are therapists that open and welcoming to all men, cisgender, transgender and gender fluid. There are safe spaces to go to talk about your feelings and your emotions and you can reach out for help at any time. The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. The Trans Health Lifeline number is 1-877-565-8860. Here at True You Southeast, our therapists create that safe and welcoming space for you to work out a problem, be vulnerable or just get help. You can make an appointment online here anytime of the day or night and you can call us at 404-800-7586. You can email us at email@example.com or us the contact forms on the site. Please, reach out if you need to.