Taboo Talks: Mental Health

In this monthly series, we invite our speakers to discuss their points of view and/or expertise on a taboo topic to offer up an opportunity for conversations on very much relevant, but avoided subjects. Although the subject matter at hand may be considered taboo for some, there are important messages and viewpoints to engage upon for future understanding and learning.

For our first Taboo Talk, we asked a selection of speakers for their diverse insights into an, otherwise, avoided topic to which we can all relate—Men's Mental Health.

Adam Garone {Co-founder of Movember}:

“When it comes to the big issues in life, too often men don’t talk about what’s going, they bottle things up, put on a mask and tough it out in isolation. This is having a tragic impact on the mental health of our society and the rates of suicide. As men, we need to have the courage to talk with our friends about the big stuff. We also need to listen very carefully because if you pay close attention, you might hear a voice or two that needs to be listened to very, very closely. Someone might need your help.”

Amy Jo Martin {Social media expert, studying the correlation between serotonin deficiencies and technology effects on human behavior}:

"When it comes to social media, we are currently in the middle of the largest social experiment imaginable. More and more, our society is encouraging and celebrating people sharing their highlight reels on social media versus expressing who they are in real life. This highlight reel versus real life phenomenon impacts our mental health greatly. There's a large emphasis around the pressure women feel due to the unrealistic expectations that social media encourages but we often forget that men are just as equally impacted."

Kenny Zimlinghaus {Comedian}

"Our mental health, as men, shouldn't be something we ignore and push away. It's a part of us and should be let in and discussed. The dark days I've had have made me who I am. Or at the very least, they helped me see who I was all along. And yeah, I cry at movies. I cry at books. I've cried at spray paint. I cry chopping onions then run to my family and pretend I'm crying about spray paint. As a guy, I've learned to let crying happen. It still doesn't change the fact that if you cut me off while driving, I'll want to bust your windshield and wrap it around your neck like a scarf."

Ned Hallowell {Child/adult psychiatrist and learning differences expert}

"Friendship is life's natural antidote to the pain that all life contains. And you want to teach children this lesson early on, that connection, which is what friendship is all about, is this free, abundant solvent that takes away the pain. And not only takes away the pain, provides the joy. So it is in connection that you solve your problems, but also that you celebrate what's good. Show them this, because the beauty of it is it's free, it's infinite in supply and you just need to teach them to get in the habit of connecting. When they're sad, when they're happy, whenever. Yates had a great line, 'Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was, I had such friends.'" [excerpted from video]

Check out Adam Garone's LinkedIn piece on this hidden health crisis and consider how you may help tackle this important issue for those men in your professional and personal life.

Go to for more information on how to start potentially life-saving conversations and to find 24-hour crisis support if you need it.