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The student union at UNLV is a common passing ground for many UNLV students while on campus.
The student union at UNLV is a common passing ground for many UNLV students while on campus.

Mental Health Leads to Suicide While Young Men Seek Less Help

By Joaquin Lomeli Jr.
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Young males can be great multitaskers when juggling school and work but struggle when balancing anxiety, stress, depression or addictions.

It can lead to a wide range of mental health issues by isolating their emotions and if it’s not treated at an early start, then it can lead to the extreme case of suicide.  

“Women attempt more suicide than men,” said Jeremy Gallas, postdoctoral fellow of The Practice at UNLV. “Men complete more suicide than women because they are more likely to use more lethal methods, so in my mind that’s a big one.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website, in 2015, there were 541 deaths in Nevada by suicide. On average, one person dies by suicide every 16 hours in Nevada, which is the second leading state with suicide deaths between the ages of 10 to 34 and 10th state in the country. Men tend to die by suicide almost 3 times more often than women.

“The thing is there is multiple points along the way where someone could have intervened,” Gallas said. “If it’s ignored or overlooked, it can just continue to escalate to the point where unfortunately if they haven’t already sought help they become suicidal.”

There tends to be a low turn-out rate when it comes to young males seeking help for mental health issues, which can be a masculinity factor. The media might contribute  because getting help can show a sign of weakness, so men tend to hold it in and stay silent. Men usually express their emotions with activities like working out, breaking stuff or boxing by punching a bag, Gallas said.

“Hollywood makes mental health look like if you’re not schizophrenic or so depressed that you can’t get out of bed, then you don’t really need to leave your house or speak to the counselor,” Gallas said. “The thing is we help for anything as minor like procrastination, I think we need to generate more awareness.”

The best way to help these individuals is to assist them in seeking help early before it gets worse. Screening kids and having more mental health programs in their school is a great way to target this low turn-out rate by getting to them at a young age, Gallas said. Another great way to target young males is collaborating with fraternities in speaking up.

“The most powerful advertising for mental health is word of mouth,” Gallas said. “If you suspect someone is struggling, do not look the other way. Express concern and help him or her connect with a care provider.”

According to Gallas, seeking assistance will help the individual build some strategy and techniques for managing stress or anger, which improves and stabilizes their mood. Overall, learning these techniques can carry onto their lives with work, relationships and their physical health because they would be less stressed. Gallas believes that seeking help will reduce symptoms, improve coping and growth as an individual.

“I have seen male clients improve their coping skills, become more trusting of others and comfortable with sharing feelings,” Gallas said. “They have also improved their relationships and recover from mental illness.”

George Corona, UNLV student, said he finds himself often stressed with school but has never once thought about speaking to a counselor because of the negative idea that comes behind seeing a psychiatrist. The idea of being heavily analyzed makes him feel uncomfortable based off what he has seen on TV.

The Practice at UNLV has handled cases such as anxiety, fear of public speaking, depression and family issues. They tend to targets all individuals, not just males and all information is kept confidential.

The Practice provides affordable services and will work with most budgets. Fees are set on a sliding scale based off your family income. If you are a student or employee of the Nevada System of Higher Education then you are eligible for separate discounts. The Practice is located at the William D. Carlson Education Building (CEB), room 226. If you or someone you may know might be struggling with any kind of mental health issue, Gallas advises to call The Practice at 702-895-1532 or visit their website at UNLV.edu/ThePractice.

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