This is a topic that we don’t talk enough about. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50.
Men are taught to not show or discuss their feelings, as they may be mocked or simply dismissed. I beg you, reach out to someone – anyone and tell them how you feel. Have a discussion – don’t suffer alone. You are loved, you are cared for, we want to talk to you, we want to hear you, we want to help.
In 2016, there were 5668 recorded suicides in the UK. Of these, 75% were male.
41% of males who’ve contemplated suicide felt like they could not talk about their feelings.
Men are less likely to go to the Doctor’s to talk as it’s seen as “less manly”, talking about mental health and suicidal thoughts/feelings is seen as a girly thing to do, as if talking about your struggles shows you as weak.
When a man takes his own life, the phrase “I never knew he was depressed” is uttered.
We need to be asking each other more often “Are you really ok?” when we spot even the smallest sign of depression, we shouldn’t let anyone suffer alone. What the world needs now is more people asking how we are really feeling; don’t take okay, fine, yeah as an answer.
We accept those as positive responses when they are far from – we hide our negatives behind these words. We hide each bad day, each heartbreak, each depressive episode behind the word fine.
We need to be strong enough to admit when we are weak.
There is a lot of focus on how a male dominated society negatively impacts women, but one of the side effects of a macho and manly society is men are being left to influence each other to behave as if discussing feelings is considered as breaking the stiff upper lip and showing a weakness, causing the cycle of men not talking about their feelings or mental health to continue, leaving everyone in the dark until it’s too late. We need to break the taboo and stigma around this.
If you’re reading this and you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, reach out. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to someone you love. I want to help, the people who love you and care for you want to help.
If you’re struggling and don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to in your day to day life, give one of the below suicide prevention lines a call, they just want to help and are anonymous.
And let me finish by saying, it’s ok not to be ok. Reach out to the people you love now and just ask, are you ok? How are you really doing? Do you need to talk?
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) works to prevent male suicide and offers support services for any man who is struggling or in crisis. CALM’s helpline 0800 58 58 58 and web-chat are for men in the UK who need to talk or find information and support. The services are open 5pm–midnight daily and are free, anonymous and confidential. For access or to find more information visit thecalmzone.net
Tel: 116 123
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email email@example.com, or visit samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.
MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393
The MindinfoLine offers thousands of callers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. Mind helps people take control of their mental health. We do this by providing high-quality information and advice, and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone. They also provide a special legal service to the public, lawyers and mental health workers.