On mental health, equality, and changing the norm


If you struggle with triggers like self-harm and mental health, please take care of yourself and know now that those topics will be in this post. There is a positive ending, but I don’t want you to struggle with it if you know the path there will get to you.

Probably about two weeks ago now, I sat down with every intention of writing this post. It’s taken me a little while, though, for a couple of reasons.

  1. It’s going to be a very harsh topic, and it’s still really fresh for me.

  2. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to take this on, I absolutely did it the justice it deserved.

There’s no easing into it, so I’m going to jump in.

What happened

On July 6, 2023, I came much closer to losing everything than I ever want to be again.

It was about 5:36 a.m. when I got a phone call. My husband had gone off to work a little over an hour ago, and he was on his way home. He was having a mental health crisis, and he was scared he was going to hurt himself.

I knew he’d been having trouble for a while; he’d been dealing with a lot, like intense pressure at work with a boss who consistently made him feel incompetent and worthless, a new job where he was worried about being what the previous boss had wrongly made him think he was, changes in our family and home life. We had been working on things to help, but that day, it didn’t matter. Something was wrong, and it had now gotten to the point that it needed immediate help.

It was the scariest conversation I’ve ever had in my life, but I will always be glad that we had it because I can’t imagine what would have happened if he held it in. All I wanted was for him to get home safely, even if that meant going to the ends of the earth to get him, so we could find him help for what he was going through.

We’ve since found him a psychologist, and we’re working on other recommendations from his doctor to help, so he is starting to feel better. He still has episodes, though, and it isn’t easy. But it isn’t something that we can ignore.

Why Shane’s story matters

Obviously, I think it matters because I’m his wife. Just thinking about how differently this story could have played out has me struggling to write through tears. But I think what we all need to consider here is the much bigger picture of men’s mental health and how it gets treated in our society.

Exhibit A

Let’s consider that June, a month that many people know as being one for recognizing societal issues and promoting equality within our society, is also Men’s Mental Health Month. I didn’t know that until Shane told me around the second week of June, and I’d be willing to bet it’s flown under the radar for a lot of us.

Exhibit B

This could be subjective, but I’d point out that most women I’ve met embrace the idea that mental health is just as important as physical health, and will comfortably admit to seeing therapists when they need to, taking time for self-care, and getting themselves checked out when they’re concerned about underlying causes for depression and anxiety.

Exhibit C

If you spend any amount of time on newer social media platforms like TikTok, you’ve likely encountered the prevailing attitude of the “Guy’s Guy,” which says that it’s a man’s job to suit up, shut up, get the job done, and ignore his feelings.

The attitude isn’t particularly new, but its ability to reach people is.

Exhibit D

According to Statistics Canada, men are at a much higher risk of death by suicide than women. In 2009, they reported that death by suicide rates for men were more than three times what they were for women, and followed that statistic by saying:


At all points in time over the past 60 years, males have had higher rates of suicide than females.

Now, I don’t mean any of these as a shot in any direction. They all add up to the idea that men’s mental health doesn’t matter to our society; it’s their job to ignore it, do what they need to, and forget depression exists.

Personally, I think that’s bullshit. We all have equitable risks for struggle, depression, anxiety—but the conversations around it are painfully different. Mental health isn’t treated equally for everyone, and that isn’t right.

Why I’m writing this

It’s been really hard for me to solidify my thoughts on this because quite honestly, it’s been nearly impossible to separate logic from emotion. But if there’s one thing that I think needs to get across, it’s that we all go through things in life, and it isn’t fair for one side to live in a world where it’s okay to talk about what we’re experiencing while the other feels a societal pressure to bottle it all up until they eventually explode.

It’s a personal thing for me both in what happened, and for the fact that I’ve been where he is. If it wasn’t for the support I got in my early 20s, I wouldn’t be here either.

Men need that support too.

Right now, we’re still working hard to make sure that Shane is okay. But every day, I’m reminded of the fact that the kind of support he’s getting feels foreign and wrong to him.

We’ve talked about it, and one of the things he wanted to do while he’s working on himself is try and build awareness around men’s mental health—because that man’s heart is made of gold, and he just wants to help others who might be going through the same thing.

He’s currently working on a Twitch stream to help open the conversation around men’s mental health in the gaming community and to raise money to support mental health services. And animal shelters, of course, because our pup Harley has been very careful about keeping an eye on him throughout the last month.

It’s already obvious in just a week that it’s something our world needs. I can’t tell you how many comments he’s had from people asking if he was mocking men’s mental health or being serious—people who then immediately opened up when they found out it was serious.

What I’m asking of you

  1. Check on your strong friends. They’re very good at hiding when they’re going through something, and they won’t always tell you when they need you.
  2. If you or anyone you know is going through a mental health issue or crisis, know that you’re not alone. There are people who can and will help.


Call 1-833-456-4566


Call 988 or 1-800-985-5990

  1. If you know of or have a special connection with men’s mental health services in North America, I would love to hear about it so that we can look into supporting them with Shane’s stream. You can leave a comment below if you want, or if you’d like to stay anonymous, you can reach me here (it doesn’t look like a link, but it is). Nothing will leave my lips or fingertips—they’re not my stories to share. Even this was only with clear permission and what Shane called 10,000% trust in me.

Together, let’s change how people treat men’s mental health.

One thought on “On mental health, equality, and changing the norm

  1. Wow, this article really hit home. It’s a stark reminder of how we often overlook men’s mental health in our society. I appreciate the courage it took to share such a personal story, and it’s a wake-up call for all of us to check in on our loved ones, especially the “strong” ones.

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