Campus counselling centres must do more to reach out to men

October 27, 2014

A recent US study has found that campus counselling centres treat nearly 2 women for every man, a figure that some say is indicative of a major challenge. “Because of men’s socialization, they come to college making the biggest transition of their lives with the message that you’re not supposed to ask for help from anyone and you’re not supposed to show any deep emotions. It’s a recipe for disaster,” said Jon A Davies, a former Senior Staff Psychologist at the University of Oregon. Counselling psychology professor Anthony J Isacco added, “as a society, we’re not encouraged to look at men’s emotional vulnerability. We’re much more prepared to see it in women … When men are suffering from mental-health issues, we have to make an extra-special effort to realize it.“ But with counselling centres already overwhelmed by demand, few are well positioned to closely examine the demographics of who is stopping in. Davies and Isacco each say that outreach beyond the counselling centre is key. Some institutions have created kiosks to get men talking about masculinity, or provide leadership classes that get men to talk about their feelings. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)