Mental health, these men talked about it in 2022 and it’s ‘a step forward’

Stromae, Billy Crawford, François Alu… In France, as abroad, they talked about their suicidal thoughts, their therapy or their need to preserve themselves. It’s nothing out of the ordinary.

MENTAL HEALTH – As 2022 closes, an event that happened at the very beginning of the year still resonates today. It is that of the performance, in full JT of TF1, by Stromae, who came to sing in front of the seven million viewers of the One” his suicidal thoughts “, those of which it is concerned” little proud “.

If the nature of his performance, orchestrated from scratch with journalist Anne-Claire Coudray for the promotion of his new single hellbaffled more than one, the words of the Belgian singer have marked others.

We are in the early evening. There, in the public space, on a Monday evening in January. And Stromae, his eyes fixed on the camera, breaks the silence around her sanity. The effect was immediate: +13% calls to the national suicide prevention number.

In November, Billy Crawford offers just as much. While he made a sensational return to France thanks to his (fruitful) participation in Dance with the starsthe former idol of youth delivered without concessions in the columns of the Parisian about the four years of depression he suffered on the eve of his 25th birthday.

“I burned myself. Yes, I freaked out. I had suicidal thoughts before. I couldn’t bear the stress of work, family… I kept drinking alcohol all night, I smoked a lot”confided in Lorie’s ex-boyfriend, now 40 years old.

One ” step forward »

Meanwhile, and on the other side of the Atlantic, singer Shawn Mendes has justified the end of his international tour to cure himself and preserve his mental health. ” I’ve reached a breaking point “, he specified to his 71 million subscribers on Instagram. The social network, denigrated for its harmful impact on the self-esteem of its users, Hollywood actor Tom Holland has decided to leave it permanently to protect himself there too. And despite his 21 million followers, Brody Wellmaker has done the same, but on TikTok.

For doctor and psychotherapist Nathalie Rapoport-Hubschman, these talks constitute a ” step forward given the low percentage of men who deal with their mental health in everyday life. And this, unlike their female alter egos who, like Selena Gomez, Léna Situations or Meghan Markle, are numerous to express themselves on the subject.

In everyday life, women represent 70% of people in therapy. “The relationship with emotions, more evident in women, has long been perceived as a form of vulnerability”reminds us of the author of the book Taming the mind, healing the body: stress, emotions and health.

gender differences

The idea that a man should be strong, virile and not reveal an admission of so-called “weakness” is still widely shared, according to the expert. When asked if mental health is taboo for them, his answer is clear. ” Is that a yestell us. It’s an area that appeals to identity and intimacy, two notions in direct confrontation with the definition that has long been given to masculinity. »

These differences between women and men are socially constructed from childhood and continue until death, as sociologist Nathalie Bajos, a specialist in health inequalities through the gender prism, explains on the France Inter microphone. I’m at work in many other areas of health. Whether it’s a general practitioner or a specialist, men go to the doctor less. The ratio reverses after age 65, according to INSEE.

In this context, what is “in the head”, ” it is seen as something secondary, as if the body has to function on its own, unless we collapse “, adds Nathalie Rapoport-Hubschman. This, while 75% of suicide deaths in France are men.

If we must not overlook other factors in taking into account the importance of our mental health, such as the social environment or the relationship with work, the psychologist observes an evolution in young people, without a doubt ” because they are caught in the grip of the models of the past and of a society where well-being is valued”.

A preventive effort

François Alu is one of them. At 29, the juror of Dance with the stars he didn’t hesitate to defend her need to be more attentive to him to justify his departure from the Paris Opera. “Luckily I didn’t get this star earlier, because I was able to start things, like therapy”, he explained in front of Léa Salamé on France Inter, where he thanked his shrink and praised the merits of his psychoanalysis that began seven years ago. ” It makes me feel goodconfided the latter. I would like, one day, to be treated because it is something that is very good for society. »

The way the healthcare system supports the French needs to be questioned. The prevention effort also relieves Nathalie Rapoport-Hubschman. ” Not good is good. It must not be less good than the others. We need to talk about it in families and in schools “, he claims.

Even if we have to be careful not to place all the responsibility on individuals”. we must multiply the actionsadds Nathalie Bajos, still in France Inter. Games, movies, books, discussions. […] All of these are ways to change social representations so that people question themselves. Because taking care of yourself has no gender.

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