Erase Gender Norms To Address Mental Health

There are millions of people in the world that suffer from mental disorders. Depression and anxiety are very common in college students. Personally, I know multiple people who have a mental disorder – myself included. As college students, we should help each other. I passionately want to educate my peers about suicide prevention and mental health awareness!  

Many aspects of mental health

Often mental health is not taken seriously in females and is often disregarded when it comes from a male. Because our society is structured with the masculinity and feminine view, it’s important to look past these “social norms” and pay attention to each individual’s mental awareness.  

Not a sexist issue

As one becomes more aware of mental illnesses, it is easy to see that men can also struggle with these issues.  Nonetheless, society expects men to be “tough” and does not take it as seriously. Men believe they need to live up to the expectations of being “tough” in the society’s perspective. When a guy cries, he is told to “man up.” This brings up the illusion that if a guy cries, he is not strong or masculine.  Crying does not mean a person is weak. It can be difficult for men to express their feelings, because they may feel their masculinity will be questioned.  

Women do not have it much easier. When women cry and express their emotions, they may not be seen as “weak,” but they do seem to get judgement about their sanity and questioning if they are “hormonal.”  Females are sometimes blamed for their mental illness because if they are emotional, they must be putting depression on themselves.  

Break the rules

Davki and friends participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk sponsored by the Association for Suicide Prevention.

Gender norms are “rules” that society has formed for women and men.  These rules show men and women how they must act, look, and even feel.  So many men are afraid to express their feelings because the male gender norms are that men should be tough and not cry. While females, on the other hand, are too sensitive.  Both, whether in regards to male or female issues, impact individuals and our society as a whole.  

Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders have a negative impact in many people’s lives. For students it can create barriers to academic and personal success. It can lead to worse things – such as suicide. We must look past the “gender norms” and truly express ourselves without hesitation!  Find the resources on your campus that support mental health. Listen to your peers when they need to work through their troubling feelings. Let’s band together to make this world a place where all individuals are comfortable seeking help.  Everyone can help save a life.  

How do you express yourself and keep your mental awareness in check? Share with students nationwide by commenting below!




Davki Patel is currently studying Business at Montclair State University in New Jersey. In her free time she enjoys drawing, singing and hanging out with friends.  


Davki is a Pearson Student Insider. To learn more about the program and apply, click here.


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