What do you think the biggest killer of men under 45 is? Road Accidents? Cancer? Addiction? Any of these are possible but the result may shock you, it’s suicide. Thousands of men every day will attempt to take their own lives and unfortunately a lot will succeed.
A lot people would have seen the title and gone what in the name of hell is she talking about? International men’s day? What kind of feminist is she? The answer isthe one who contributes to equality and the rate of male suicide is something that needs to be tackled by both genders together, because that is how we will save people. Men are under a lot of pressure, there is a pressure to get a six pack and love the gym, a pressure to be masculine, worries if you are not straight and how other men will react (especially for teenage boys), pressure to be a breadwinner for your family. Society puts a lot of pressure on men and it’s no wonder that a lot of them feel overwhelmed!
When searching for an image those associated with depression were almost all women. I searched for a long time to find an image of a man. We refuse to acknowledge that men, half of the population, are not immune from mental health. This comes with the stupid notion that mental illness is associated with the weak (ha!). As a society we need to accept that firstly, mental illness is not a weakness, it is an illness and secondly men need just as much support.
I have a lot of male friends who have different conditions and the statistics both scare me and make me angry. I’m scared because I don’t want any of my friends to find it too much and kill themselves. I’m angry because for something that’s the biggest killer of young men there isn’t a lot that’s being done about it.
We can help them though, we can keep talking, keep reaching out. The way to beat this stigma and save the men in our lives is to be open and honest, I cannot stress enough have important talking is in all of this. You never know how much just talking to someone will could save a life.
If anyone reading this is suicidal and don’t feel they can call someone they are close to there are numbers you can call or please seek urgent medical advice. Remember you are worth it, you really are.
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
image from imagesofnation.com