While more attention has been brought to students’ mental and emotional health in recent years, there has been some disparity between men and women seeking support. This is largely due to the stigmatization of men who seek counseling and mental health services, or men being considered “weak” if they acknowledge a mental health problem.
The Marshall University Counseling Center is working to eliminate this stigma and promote a safer, healthier campus environment by hosting a Men’s Mental Health Week on campus. This is the first time a week-long event dedicated to men’s mental health has taken place at the university.
The events of the Mental Health Week will take place on the week of March 8-12 and will include daily activities for men on campus such as giveaways and conferences with mental health specialists.
Legendary Cuts on Fourth Avenue will be participating in the event, offering 10% off on haircuts to male students and giving free pizza to student customers.
Wednesday will feature a Minecraft competition and a panel
of men from campus discussing men’s mental health and the importance of seeking help when needed.
Panels and virtual presentations will be held throughout the week and will feature guest speakers such as Kevin Hines, a suicide attempt survivor and prevention activist.
On Friday of that week, male students can receive up to two hours of archery at Pullman Square’s Battlearium.
Dr. Candace Layne, Director of the Campus Counseling Center, had the idea to bring more attention to the Counseling Center and incorporate activities to prevent poor mental health.
“Men are often called the ‘silent sufferers’ in terms of mental health,” Layne said. “They tend to underutilize mental health services to avoid looking weak.”
She encourages people to consider the importance of mental health in their everyday lives, and to treat people with kindness and empathy regardless of their gender.
“It is important for men to recognize what mental health is to make sure they don’t suffer alone,” Layne said. “This issue goes deeper than the university; it starts at home and continues in our everyday lives.”
Layne said she expects this event to be a wonderful way to promote mental health for men and encourage students to take advantage of the services offered to them by the Counseling Center.
Madison Perdue can be contacted at [email protected]