By RAEGAN NEUFELD
Tiger Media Network
Also known as ‘Movember,’ November is a time when people are encouraged to bring awareness to men’s mental health, whether it be through providing information, learning, or growing a mustache.
To spread awareness on campus, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the Student Government Association co-sponsored a button-making and informational event. Participants learned facts about men’s mental health and the resources on campus, and made buttons donning mustaches.
SAE was interested in hosting the event because the Movember Foundation is one of their philanthropies on a national level, as well as the lack of awareness for the issue.
“Men’s mental health can sometimes be downplayed, so I think just having small events and bringing awareness to the subject is a good idea,” said Tim Post, a member of SAE.
The fraternity partnered with SGA because of a new role on their executive staff.
“A new thing SGA is doing this year is one of their executive staff positions is a (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) director,” Post said. “Men’s mental health falls into those DEI initiatives, so we thought it would be a good thing to partner up on and bring some awareness.”
When hosting an event for Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, Joanna Carrillo – the DEI director – learned that the suicide rate in the U.S. is higher for men and wanted to address the issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80% of the suicides committed in the U.S. in 2022 were by men.
“As long as I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anything done for men’s mental health,” Carrillo said. “It’s been mostly focused on mental health in general, and I just wanted to do something to bring awareness to the situation.”
One of the issues the event addressed is the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.
“From the research I’ve done, it’s mostly (from) their upbringing,” Carrillo said. “Men are taught from a young age to be stronger and not show their emotions, and that really plays a big role in why later in life they’re not speaking up about their mental health struggles.”
The following were presented at the event as signs of a mental health crisis in men.
- Anger, irritability or aggressiveness
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level or appetite
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless or feeling on edge
- Physical symptoms like headaches, digestive problems and pain
- Increased worry or stress
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
For help with mental health issues, Fort Hays students, faculty and staff can receive free counseling and therapy services at the Health and Wellness Center.
Call or text 988 for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.