James Ramirez of NAMI Southern Oregon talks about Men’s Mental Health Month

MEDFORD, Ore — June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, when it is encouraged to have open conversations about the mental health struggles that men face in their day-to-day lives. It is a topic that is becoming less stigmatized, thanks to organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This morning on Sunrise, James Ramirez, member of the Steering Committee for NAMI Southern Oregon sat down with Marcus Veal to talk about his experiences with mental health, and what led him to his work with NAMI.

There are many free resources available for anyone who feels the need to reach out to someone. For instance, NAMI Southern Oregon hosts two weekly support groups for adults living with mental health conditions.  For a full list of everything NAMI Southern Oregon provides, visit namisouthernoregon.org/resources

Here are some statistics related to men’s mental health:

  • In the U.S. 6 million men are affected by depression each year.
  • Male depression often goes undiagnosed.
  • Men are more likely to report fatigue, irritability, and loss of interest in work or hobbies, rather than feelings of sadness or worthlessness.
  • 3 million U.S. men have a panic disorder, agoraphobia, or other phobias.
  • 1.2 million US. men are affected by bipolar disorder, and the age of onset in men is usually between 16 and 25 years old.
  • About 3.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with schizophrenia. 90% of people who are diagnosed by age 30 are men.
  • Men account for about 10% of patients with anorexia or bulimia, and about 35% of those with binge-eating disorder.
  • Men with eating disorders are less likely to seek professional help than women.

Ramirez says that if you are feeling down, or otherwise off, you should talk to your doctor about what you’re feeling. He also expresses the benefits of support groups, which give people an opportunity to speak with others going through similar struggles. Ramirez says it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and also a good night’s sleep to protect your mental health.


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