Mubeen Qureshi, a licensed master social worker and owner of Qureshi Therapy, says men are significantly less likely to see treatment than women.
“The leading causes of death for men are related to issues related to depression or even suicide,” Qureshi says.
He states mental health care looks different pre-and-post-COVID, where male students have had more emotional support after the pandemic.
“I feel like the families have been more proactive and helping them seek treatment,” says Qureshi.
Leading causes of mental health issues
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one in 10 men have depression or anxiety, but less than half are seeking treatment. Qureshi says signs of anxiety and depression are substance abuse or addictions such as vaping or pornography.
According to Qureshi, men usually opt out of therapy due to stigma, mistrust and a lack of qualified therapists.
“There’s a perception — even within minority communities — that we have to keep it within the family, that people on the outside [who] don’t understand our issues are not going to be able to help us in the ways that are needed, or we can’t trust them,” Qureshi explains. “And so they keep it within and then they’re forced to put on this face when they go out in public that like, ‘Oh, I’m fine, but internally I’m a mess.’”
He says Caucasian men are twice as likely to seek help than minority men, but that shouldn’t deter people from getting the help they need.
Getting help is courageous
Qureshi believes getting help is a sign of courage.
“Seeking therapy to me is so important because it means that you’re strong enough actually to face the issues that you’re going through,” he says. “If you’re seeking help, it doesn’t mean that you’re less than. It just means that you’re ready to talk about the issues with someone.”
Qureshi encourages people to research therapists and discuss any apprehensions before beginning therapy to have a better connection. He also believes it’s valuable to have a neutral perspective from a professional to help people sort out their matters.
“Taking care of yourself actually allows you to enhance your relationships with everyone around you.”
Listen the entire interview using the media player above.