Positive Male Mind by Dr Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder (Book Review)


In review

Positive Male Mind – Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Authors
Dr Shaun Davis & Andrew Kinder

Genre of Book
Psychology & Mental Health

Number of pages:
128

Publisher
LID Publishing

Did you know that only 50% of men feel comfortable to discuss mental health issues, even though 12.5% of men are diagnosed at any given moment with a mental condition such as anxiety, depression or panic disorder? In the mental health field, men are recognised as a vulnerable group and yet they are also identified as “hard-to-help”, because men are usually less likely to reach out for support when struggling with mental health issues. In their most recent book, Positive Male Mind, Dr Shaun Davis and Andrew Kinder not only empathise with this reality as men themselves, but the authors also offer us important facts and resources to improve the way we support and promote men’s mental health in our current fast-paced society.

It is well known that biological factors, such as a history of mental health in the family, can affect mental health. However, environment (e.g. workplace) and social factors (e.g. social roles) can also contribute do the deterioration of our mental health. For instances, the fact that society in general and men themselves are still holding on to a toxic representation, in which men must be “tough” and never show their emotions, makes talking and tackling men’s mental health very difficult. Such limiting beliefs are also thought to be one of the reasons why 46% of men have expressed concern about taking time off from work due to mental health – many men fear that employers will think badly of them, if they open up about their mental fitness.

Hence, Positive Male Mind is a great book to move us closer to men’s reality and help end the stigma among men. It gives us not only the most important and updated statistics on men’s mental health, but it also provides both men and mental health supporters with useful strategy points and action-steps. The book in itself is divided in four parts. Part one offers the reader a brief overview of mental health among men. In this section, the reader learns about the most recent statistics and how factors such as stigma, stress, trauma and money impact men’s mental health. Part two deals with specific actions that can help men cope with mental health issues. Some of these actions include increasing self-awareness, self-esteem and health-related habits such as having enough sleep and finding positive ways to relax.

The third part of Positive Male Mind tackles men’s mental health at work. This section talks about, for instances, what to expect from employers, how to communicate about mental health concerns, and what individual actions can be taken in order to improve wellbeing in the workplace. Some of these actions include learning to say ‘no’ when necessary and establishing healthy boundaries. Part four discusses further changes that can improve men’s wellbeing in general. This section expands wellbeing-related habits (e.g. establishing realistic expectations of oneself) that can make a positive difference on men’s mental health.

To conclude, and having read Positive Mental Health from the same authors, I have to say that Positive Male Mind offers us not only a straightforward approach and language, making complex information easy to process, but it adds on by giving us a unique and more detailed perspective over mental health issues among men, and on how to better support this group. While reading it, I thought many times to myself how great it would be if we could provide Positive Male Mind in every clinic waiting room and library, because talking about men’s mental health remains a difficult task for both men and the wider community.

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