Hello my lovelies,
I want to give men a voice, so I'm writing about mens mental health, specifically about depression and suicide.
Whilst I was doing my research for this article, I was shocked at some of the statistics I found online. In the UK 1 in 8 men have experienced a mental health problem. The male suicide rate in 2013 was at its highest since 2001, and on average 13 men each day take their own life through suicide. Men are around 3 times more likely to commit suicide than women. Now, I know we are at the back of 2016 now, but it shocks me that this was only 3 years ago and still we aren't talking about it. Even in 2014, there were 6,122 suicides recorded, only 24% of which were female. So that means a huge 76% were male. Males around the ages of 16-24 and 39-54 are more likely to commit suicide than any other age group. There are no answers yet for why this is, one can only guess. Bear in mind that all of these statistics are just UK based. I think the most important thing to know though is that depression does not mean you are weak, if anything it means you're a very strong person to be able to carry on each and every day. It means you're strong because every day you're fighting the same battles.
Statistics show that men are diagnosed less with depression then women, but are more likely to turn to alcohol and illegal drugs as a way of coping. Since humans have been around, men have always had the stress of not showing certain emotions because if they did they would be marked as being weak. This still goes on now. Some men can't talk about their emotions in the fear that they will be called weak or they will feel weak. In the same way as women, depression in men can be related to anything going on in someone life. You can't categorize the difference between why men get depressed and why women do. We can all get depressed over the same things. It saddens me to know that men actually have less social support from friends and relatives. Again I think this goes back to men feeling like they can't be seen to be weak. Women have always talked about all sorts of things with their friends, same as mothers and daughters, sisters, etc. However men just have never been that way.
This isn't just happening with adults, there is even evidence showing its effect on schools boys. Reading up I found that school boys are more likely to receive permanent or fixed periods of exclusions than girls, 3 times more likely to put a number on it. Even grades can show how a school boy could be depressed. In 2013 statistics showed that 55.6% of boy's sitting their GCSEs came out with 5 or more A*-C grades, compared to the school girls who were higher at 65.7%. The proves that boys don't perform as well as girls do on an academic level. So if the cracks can been seen here, isn't it better to get a hold of the situation now rather than leaving it to build up? I know trying to talk to a teenager can be hard because they don't like sharing, but letting them know you're there is a start.
It scares me that all the evidence is there to show how men are suffering but it doesn't seem to be hitting headlines. I want men to know that they aren't weak if they ask for help. I want them to know it's good to ask for help, it's alright to cry, and it's alright to have feelings. I don't want men to feel ashamed to ask for help or to cry. What's more important, your father, grandfather, uncle, brother, etc being here talking about what's going on in their head, or wishing they had just talked to you or someone else about it and not committing suicide? We all need to start supporting each other and I am starting today.
Who's with me?
There are plenty of people out there who want to help men with mental health problems. CALM- Campaign Against Living Miserably, are a registered UK charity who are there to help battle male suicide. Their mission is to spread the word on male suicide and give help to those in need. You can be any age, from any background, and be going through anything that's making you feel suicidal, or making you have thoughts of harming yourself. They do so much so please check their website out at https://thecalmzone.net/.
Here is a list of other places you can go for help both men and women:
Published by Vicky Watson