Men’s mental health is an issue that often isn’t talked about enough. Throughout history, men and boys have been conditioned to view overt displays of emotion as weak or feminine, and to keep their feelings bottled up, despite the negative consequences. That’s why we’ll be sharing five famous men who’ve opened up about mental health.
We Need to Talk about Men’s Mental Health
Since societal norms have pushed this “boys don’t cry” narrative for years, too many men suffer in silence. In the U.S., a poll of 21,000 American men conducted by researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that almost one in 10 men reported experiencing mental health issues like depression or anxiety, but less than half of them had reached out for help. In Canada, about 10% of all men will experience significant mental health challenges at some point in their life.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which means it’s as good a time as any to work towards banishing the stigma surrounding men’s mental health. Starting a dialogue about the issue is a great place to start.
5 Famous Men Who’ve Opened Up about Mental Health
These five famous men have been brave enough to open up about their own personal challenges with mental health, setting a great example for future generations:
1. Michael Phelps
Legendary Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is one of the famous men who’s spoken openly about his challenges with mental health in the past. At an event for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day back in 2017, Phelps told the audience about his struggles with thoughts of taking his own life and how he ultimately found the strength to reach out for help on the road to recovery.
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
For a man literally known as “The Rock”, Dwayne Johnson has been refreshingly candid about his personal mental health struggles. The actor, producer and former pro athlete previously faced a bout of severe depression after being cut from the Canadian Football League at the age of 23. In an episode of Oprah’s Master Class, Johnson commented that the most important thing to realize when battling depression is that you’re never alone, and the tough times won’t last forever.
3. Prince Harry
As someone who has been in the limelight for his entire life, Prince Harry is one of the famous men who has shared his mental health journey with the world. After losing his mother Princess Diana at the young age of 12, the young monarch has faced his fair share of challenges throughout his youth. Now, Prince Harry is using his platform as an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health, collaborating with Oprah Winfrey on the 2021 docuseries The Me You Can’t See, which explores mental health and wellbeing through the eyes of famous figures and regular people from around the world.
4. Wayne Brady
As a talented actor, host and comedian on hits shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway, Wayne Brady helped to bring a smile to the faces of many, even while he was suffering inside. Brady struggled with depression for years before hitting rock bottom in 2013, when he realized he needed to make some changes in his life. Since then, he’s one of the famous men who has been outspoken about his struggles in the public eye, reminding people that recognizing the problem is the first step on the healing journey.
After meeting several fans who said his music saved their lives, rapper Logic created a song titled “1-800-273-8255,” the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Logic has been outspoken about his struggles with social media, anxiety and life as a biracial person, using his platform to shed light on the many mental health challenges people are facing today.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, here are five online mental health services to access right now.
Lead image credit: Photo of Wayne Brady at the SXSW Samsung Blogger Lounge by nan palmero.