25 November 2021

Why I Mo: Connor Coyne

2 minutes read time

I think a lot of men wait for a life altering moment for them to care about mental health. Whether it be a suicide attempt, crippling anxiety about money, depression of a lost job, and everything in between, the stigma around men’s mental health is there needs to be a problem in order to care. Truth is – that’s not the case at all.

From a young age, men are conditioned to not show signs of weakness and encouraged not to express their emotions and feelings. When I was 5 years old and fell, the first thing out of my parents’ mouth were “Don’t cry. You’re okay”. Don’t cry? I’m 5 years old, I think it’s okay if I cry! This ideology that in order to be a “man”, you can’t show emotions/feelings or seem weak is ridiculous.

Today, so many men suffer in silence because of the societal pressures and expectations that we continue to perpetuate. “Oh, you don’t make a lot of money,” you’re a failure. “You aren’t jacked and have muscles,” you’re weak. “You express your emotions,” you’re soft. I could go on and on, but you get the point. We’ve come to the expectation that when something breaks the societal norm of being a “man”, it’s wrong.

So, you might ask yourself: Connor, why do YOU Mo?

I Mo so men know it’s okay not to be okay. I Mo so men know they’re not “broken” if they want to speak to a therapist. I Mo so men can truthfully answer “How are you?”

I Mo because I suffer from anxiety, stress, and disconnection. I used to be afraid to share with other people my struggles because I didn’t want to burden them with my issues. The first reaction I would get from my friends when I told them I was speaking to a therapist was, “What’s wrong?” Nothing’s wrong with me. Absolutely nothing, and I believe you live your best life when your mind is right.

" I want to create an environment where men feel empowered, encouraged, AND supported, to speak up and out about all their struggles. "

This is my first year participating in Movember and I couldn’t be prouder and happier to be a part of this community. Movember gives men the tools and tangible resources to prioritize your mental and physical health.

It’s about time that the conversation about men’s mental health is normalized. Men cry too. Men have anxiety and struggle with depression. Men feel alone. The stigma of men’s mental health needs to be broken. We must continue to encourage men to speak up, and not “man up.”