When it comes to mental health, it’s about time men realize they aren’t the only one struggling… 

"Depression and anxiety are more common than grey cars on the road," says Smart Care Clinical Medical Director Tasha Gaston. 

Millions of American men suffer anxiety and depression but aren’t willing to deal with it, often brushing it off as fatigue, sleeplessness or irritability.

"That is why primary care is so important because we are looking at the whole patient," Gaston shares. "Are you not sleeping because you are anxious or you’re suffering from some symptoms of depression and they often go hand in hand."

So, how do men get over the stigma of talking about mental health? Gaston says you can start by allowing yourself to be vulnerable and not letting pride get in the way of the fact that you are human. She says all humans suffer from different facets of emotions, and not being afraid to go in and just take that first step is key. 

To help men feel more comfortable about opening up, Health Partners has therapists work in primary care clinics. "That works great because it is less intimidating," Gaston explains. "It’s a place that is familiar with patients to go.We have better results with getting them the care that they need."

The men's mental health innovations don’t stop there, SmartCare Clinics in St. Louis Park and Maplewood offer conveniences like long hours, so patients can visit during off-work times and phone follow ups. "It saves them time, it saves them money and for depression and anxiety and other mental health conditions a 15-minute phone call for follow up has been fantastic.and that’s less intimidating for patients and it gives us a good touch point."

If you’re looking for an online program to better manage your mood, stress and anxiety, check out ‘Beating the Blues’ on the Health Partners website.