Suicide rates among men are a growing concern, and researchers are looking for ways to better understand and address men's mental health challenges. A recent study by scientists at McGill University and the University of British Columbia explores the connection between having a sense of purpose in life and men's mental well-being.
The study involved 364 male participants, and the results were revealing. Men who felt they had a stronger sense of meaning in their lives were less likely to experience general psychological strain, including symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The study also looked at two important factors: resilience and loneliness. It found that a greater sense of meaning not only directly reduced psychological distress but also did so indirectly by boosting resilience and reducing loneliness.
These findings suggest that creating therapies and interventions to help men find more meaning in their lives could improve their resilience, combat loneliness, and ultimately reduce psychological distress. The next steps in research will focus on identifying what gives men a sense of meaning throughout their lives.
Tyler Brown, a postdoctoral fellow in McGill's Department of Family Medicine and the lead author of the study, emphasises the importance of paying attention to men's sense of purpose to support and enhance their mental health.