Through the anonymity of the internet, many people are reaching out for help with mental health and addiction in an environment where they can speak out, connect with others, and feel much safer about confessing their problems. And as CNBC reports, this is helping a lot of men who often have a hard time being open about their feelings.
The terms for online services that can help people with their mental health and addiction are usually called telehealth and telemedicine. For one telehealth site, close to half of the people who came aboard are men between the ages of 20 and 35. And as this report states, one company “started advertising more toward young men after identifying a need [and] it’s working. Young men engage with Facebook ads for behavioral health services at double the rate of moms with kids, the group that was traditionally considered the core target.”
As a marketing executive for one telehealth site says, “What was surprising to us was we actually expected that young women were going to respond better, but I think for us it now feels intuitive.”
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 9% of men polled said they experienced anxiety and depression daily, and less than half of them took medicine for their disorder or talked to a doctor about what they’re going through. Men may be feeling the stigma against getting help for their mental health most acutely because they have to “man up” and be outwardly strong.
One doctor who consults patients through telemedicine says that “virtual visits are a prime opportunity from a treatment and engagement perspective because they’re doing it on their own time in a safe environment that’s comfortable for them.”
And indeed, today’s generation has grown up surrounded by technology since they were young, which can make them feel more comfortable getting help with it. As a source explains, “If young men are willing to use telehealth, it would be a fantastic development for public health. We haven’t been able to get them into treatment because of expectations and societal roles that real men don’t fill in the blank. That’s the thing we’re up against. If this is the vehicle they’re comfortable with, then that’s great.”