It’s OK for men to seek mental health help, speakers say at Psychology Club event

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By Salma Mourad

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH—American University of Sharjah’s Psychology Club hosted an online panel discussion Nov. 22 to raise awareness about the importance of men’s mental health. 

Psychology Club Vice President Shireen Ahmad and Psychology Major Rashed AlGhazali hosted the meeting which included 47 attendees.

AlGhazali introduced Michael Leonard, a behavioural change therapist and coach, who discussed societal issues surrounding men’s mental health. He encouraged students to be good listeners to those suffering from mental health issues around them. 

The second part of the event consisted of ongoing discussions between Leonard and two other speakers. 

Ally Salama, CEO of the mental health magazine EMPWR and host of the Empathy Always Wins podcast, emphasized that upbringing has played a role in the stigma around men expressing their feelings. Salama said men should not feel shame when seeking mental health treatment.

Ali Mortada, AUS student and host of the Up-Next Podcast, expressed his own concerns around men’s mental health and cited his own experience with encouraging men to freely speak up about their emotions without feeling shame.