Home // Men’s Health Tips // Lower Stress

Shea Emry: Masculinity in mental health

by | Oct 10, 2014 | Lower Stress | 0 comments

Reading Time: 2 mins ( Word Count: 311 )

Shea Emry, Canadian football star, is speaking out about mental health. He speaks to his own battle with depression and the relief of stepping out from behind the mask:

“Like so many of us, I lived my childhood mastering the art of masking my feelings. I thought this survival mechanism was necessary for me to fit in to the only frame of masculinity that I knew, one that frowns on emotional exposure.

Embracing my emotive self and sharing my personal story liberated me and I became a man who could find strength in vulnerability. As Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly, Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.

Before I started to embrace vulnerability and openness, I lived a guarded life.  I took few risks, building armour around my soul, hindering me from experiencing the feelings Brené Brown describes. I didn’t even know what living freely was.

Men’s mental health issues continue to thrive behind society’s masks. I’m the perfect example: a professional football player, the mentally tough, ‘alpha-male’ type. Until I ripped off the mask this was all I—and perhaps others—allowed me to be. Social-cultural expectations surrounding masculinity are why such a singular-belief system can even occur in a young man’s mind. The mask that many men feel we need to put on before we walk out the door each morning perpetuates a society of men and boys who have bought into a culture that does not value vulnerability, a trait we have feminized.

Men should not have to battle societal and cultural parameters while tending to the issues in their lives. Life can be hard enough. We do not need our boys—who become men—to waste their lives worrying about which mask to hide behind.”

Read Shea’s full article click here

Filed under: Lower Stress

Tagged with:

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

More From

Lower Stress

So a Guy Walks Into a Salad Bar . . .

Funny is a moving target. As we grow older, our sense of humour changes. By the time we’re in our 40s and 50s, the jokes we loved in our 20s just don’t hit like they used to. Like, the one about the guy going to the doctor for some test results. The doctor comes in,...

Feeling Stressed? Go Outside! Simple Tips to Reduce Stress

I’ve heard “we’re all in this together” a LOT since the pandemic began. It always makes me think of the workers across Canada staring at their screens. After all, as a registered counsellor providing private video appointments at TELUS Health MyCare™, I’m one of them!...

Pin It on Pinterest