It’s no secret that the music industry is male dominated. From show lineups to song credits, it can be nearly impossible to find the women professionals. According to a study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith that analyzed top 100 songs of each year from 2012 to 2017, only 22.4% of artists and only about 12% of songwriters were women. Although the music industry struggles with its diversity, the fact that it is male dominated can give us great insight on why mental health issues are so present within the music industry and why it is so important for the industry to take action towards bettering the mental health of its professionals.
In general, men tend to avoid talking about their mental health and are less willing to seek out help. Psychology Today describes it as a “silent crisis in men’s health.” Of suicides in the United States, men make up 75% of the deaths. Men are also more likely to turn to substance abuse as an unhealthy coping mechanism, which usually leads to shorter lives.
Although society is moving away from traditional values, men are still instilled with the idea that they should be the breadwinners of the family and that they should hold this sense of “strength.” Men are taught to withhold their feelings, which has created a dangerous emotional environment for men in our society. The biggest step towards mental health recovery is being able to discuss what you are experiencing; however, society has told men that it is weak to discuss their issues.
For both our industry and men in general, it is crucial that we put a heavy focus on mental health education and creating safe environments for mental health discussions. We should keep in mind the specific struggles that men face when it comes their mental health and should focus on changing society’s perspectives to tackle the issue at the source. We can set a healthier standard for men and create better environments for those within our industry.