​WHY is it that we don't feel comfortable to tell people what is going on in our heads? WHY is it that we cannot talk about suicide? WHY is it that we feel uncomfortable when someone wants to confide in us about their mental health problems?

We need to break the stigma that surrounds mental health, don't get me wrong we have come a very very long way from where we were before. There is adverts on TV, there are more support systems available, people are talking about it more, but it is not enough. People should be able to be open about their issues, to be free of their label, to not be branded as weak or attention seeking. But how can we achieve this?

Just talk about it. Tell those who do open up to you that it was brave and you appreciate their honesty, it could save someone's life, it could stop them feeling isolated and alone. Even ask someone how they are feeling, make sure they are okay. I read a study somewhere and it said that those who had attempted suicide would have changed their minds if someone had smiled at them, looked them in the eye or even asked them how they were. It goes to show a small gesture can go a long way, also other studies suggest by just smiling, even to yourself can actually make you happy. I always try and smile at everyone when I am walking about, I get some weird looks sometimes but it makes me happy and you never know it could make someone else happy.

I think we are making steps to reduce mental health's stigma but I think there is still a stigma and a blanket of silence upon male mental health. Now that is something we should be talking about, it is perfectly natural and normal for men to experience mental health issues, to talk about them, to feel down sometimes. WHY NOT? They are human too! So, ask your male friends if they are okay, support them, bring up the mental health conversation. I hope in my lifetime this will become a normal thing that males can express their feelings and feel less isolated.

Check out my previous blog called 'calling all males' you may find it of interest, it discusses male mental health!

Published by Katy-Jane Pitt