League of Fat Bastards

Bros Before Woes: A Guide to Supporting Buddies Through Tough Times

February 23, 2024

In today’s world, mental health is no longer a taboo subject whispered in hushed tones. It’s a topic that demands our attention and action, especially when it comes to supporting our buddies who might be struggling. 

Did you know that on average, 1 in 8 men will experience depression, and 1 in 5 men will grapple with anxiety at some stage of their lives?* These stats highlight the importance of being equipped with the knowledge and tools to support our friends through their darkest moments.

As men, we’re often taught to tough it out, to suppress our emotions, and to soldier on even when we’re feeling overwhelmed. But the truth is, none of us are immune to the challenges that life throws our way. And chances are, if you’re not personally dealing with mental health issues, one of your friends is or will be. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to be there for a buddy in need, to offer a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and a beacon of support in their darkest hours.

So, grab your favorite cigar, settle in, and let’s explore some practical ways to be the kind of friend who makes a real difference in someone’s life. Because when it comes to mental health, bros truly do come before woes.

How to Be There for a Brother Going Through a Mental Health Struggle

  1. Be Present, Not Pushy: When your buddy opens up about their struggles, it’s essential to be there for them without bombarding them with questions or advice. Sometimes, all they need is a listening ear and knowing you’re there for them without judgment.

  2. Offer Encouragement: Remind your friend that it’s okay not to be okay. Offer words of encouragement and reassure them that seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards healing.

  3. Stay Connected: Check in on your friend regularly, whether it’s through a quick text, a phone call, or chewing fat over a cigar. Let them know that your support isn’t a one-off check-in but that you’re there to support them through the highs and lows.

  4. Plan Buddy Activities: Organize activities that you both enjoy, whether it’s watching a game, going fishing, playing a round of golf or simply chilling out with some good music. Spending quality time together can provide a much-needed distraction and boost their mood.

  5. Educate Yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about mental health issues, so you can better understand what your friend might be going through. This will enable you to offer more informed support and break down any misconceptions you might have.

  6. Encourage Professional Help: While you can offer support as a friend, sometimes professional help is necessary. Encourage your buddy to seek therapy or counseling if needed, and offer to accompany them to appointments if it helps. Remember that you’re a friend, and you can’t put the sole pressure on yourself to ‘fix’ their struggles.

  7. Lead by Example: Be open about your own struggles and vulnerabilities. By sharing your experiences, you create a safe space for your friend to do the same, fostering a deeper connection and mutual support.

  8. Respect Boundaries: Understand that everyone copes with their struggles differently. Respect your friend’s boundaries and let them dictate the pace of their recovery journey.

  9. Celebrate Small Wins: Encourage your friend to celebrate the small victories, whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning, trying a new hobby, or reaching out for help. Acknowledging these achievements can boost their confidence and motivation.

  10. Keep Confidentiality: Lastly, respect your friend’s privacy and keep any discussions about their mental health confidential unless they give you permission to share with others.

Remember, being there for your buddy doesn’t require grand gestures or elaborate plans. 

It’s about showing up, listening, and offering your support in whatever way they need. 

So, let’s break down those barriers, light up our cigars, and be the kind of friends we’d want by our side when the going gets tough. Because, in the end, we’ll all go through woes, so let’s be there for our bros.

At League of Fat Bastards, we’re cigar lovers changing the game of men’s mental health by promoting open conversation and connection. To become a fat bastard and join the cause, you can sign up free here.