NEVADA, Mo. — It’s been a stressful year for many people – and many experts worry that stress can have deadly consequences.
Hundreds of Vernon County teens took part in a stress level survey. And the numbers claim males are seeing significantly lower stress.
Lucas Conner – Healthy Nevada Intern, said, “What we noticed is it’s not that men are half as stressed as women, but it’s because they’re not reporting it, and there’s a lot of different reasons for that. So, we had a focus group sit down and we talked about it for two hours it was great.”
And they’re not just worried about stress, but the risk it could lead to deadly consequences. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention stated that in 2019, men died by suicide 3.63 times more often than women and that there could be a connection to stress levels.
Lucas Conner says he believes males reported low levels of stress because they don’t open up about problems as often as females — which according to the foundation could lead to suicidal behavior.
“So if my stress level right now is at a seven or an eight, I don’t really want other people to know, so I’m going to say it’s at a two or a three, so that’s how we got those numbers, they were reporting way too low. You had some outliers that reported somewhat higher, but females they were very honest on it, because it’s okay for females to talk about their mental health.”
Ben Vickers – Vernon County Economic Development Director, said, “If we can reach these young men now, and teach them healthy concepts and just healthy ways with dealing with that stress, then in the next twenty to thirty years, we can have a more vibrant and healthy community that is more likely to succeed in what they’re doing by mediating that stress properly.”
Ben Vickers hopes this survey will impact more than mental health.
“We want to be sure that going forward that we have a strong, healthy community. Especially from my standpoint as the Economic Developer, we can’t have a healthy business community if we don’t have healthy people.”
Conner says to be healthy, you have to be honest.
“I think it’s important that we be open, we have to be able to talk about our things. Because we can talk all we want about all sorts of different things. But when we’re not talking about ourselves, we’re kind of hiding it from ourselves and that’s just damaging for us,” said Conner.