Chapter 8: Men, ‘masculinity’ and mental health: critical reflections
This chapter opens with an introduction to the field of men’s health, highlighting traditional and contemporary research and theory, with particular reference to the central concept of ‘masculinities’. Drawing from the interdisciplinary arena of ‘critical studies of men and masculinity’, conventional notions of masculinity are deconstructed, and men’s health reviewed as a complex phenomenon requiring sophisticated thinking and investigations. This perspective is applied to the domain of mental health, and questions are posed about the relevance of psycho-medical discourse and the gendered assumptions promoted therein. the authors then consider how male mental health is understood, with particular reference to common mental health problems (notably depression). Research on mental health promotion with men is then reviewed, focusing on mainstream psychological services as well as community-based programmes and online resources. The authors conclude with some thoughts about future research directions and service provision for men suffering from distress.
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