Written by: Andrew W., Ph.D
The recent murder suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher has caused me to take notice of the need for people to see men in a new light.
Men and women think that men are supposed to always be strong and show very little emotion. In a relationship women have a tendency to think of a man as less than a man if he admits his fears of being able to properly provide for his family or any fears that he may have that would cause his woman to want to leave him.
In America, women have many avenues to get help with their stressful situations and manage their fears. On the flip side, men don’t have enough options to seek help. Society teaches boys from a young age that if something is bothering you, you should suck it up and deal with it. You should never show emotions because that is a sign of weakness. No one ever really teaches a boy how or what it means to just deal with, so the lack of education on dealing with issues carries over into manhood.
I am here to say that I think men should not be bullied or belittled for seeking help for their emotional situations or mental illness. I believe that it takes a lot of courage to admit that something is wrong and seek help for their issues.
This is especially true in the African-American culture because a lot of people are not educated enough with emotional or mental health issues.
I think if this negative stigma didn’t exist in the African-American culture, Jovan Belcher and others like him would be able to seek professional help for their issues without the fear of being talked about, belittled, or considered less than a man. This would no doubt save a lot of lives and save a lot of families from unnecessary pain.