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11th September 2020

World Suicide Prevention Day

We all know the old adage; a problem shared is a problem halved, but for many men, it’s just not that simple. In these current unprecedented times, we have an opportunity as a society to address the issues behind the frightening statistics of male suicide, and support avenues that can offer another way out of the mental prison.

Suicide is the number one killer of men under 45. Forget cancer, heart attacks and strokes – the real secret stealer of generations of men lurks within our own minds.

Take a look at the roles that men have traditionally played in society for thousands of years; the provider, the hunter gather, the protector. These roles are the epitome of masculinity, and have helped shape expectations of society that we have carried through from early man to our present social incarnation.  

Masculinity traditionally conjures up the notion of being stoic, self reliant and strong. Talking about ‘feelings’ has earned the press of being weak, feminine and emotional – a strong contrast to what being a ‘man’ has been regarded as.

It’s not mental health issues that are the killer here; 1 in 4 of us will have experienced a mental health problem in the UK. Rather, it’s the oppression of toxic masculinity and the stigma behind taking the first steps, and talking to someone about how you feel.

Let’s redefine what it means to be a man. Together, let’s understand that outdated notions of masculinity no longer define your identity, and that taking the first step is a chat about how you feel.

Talking to loved ones is a safe first step to getting your feelings off your chest. CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is our charity partner, and have an anonymous live chat if you can’t face talking to someone you know. You can find them here.

2020 has been a year of coming together as a society, learning the value of kindness and practicing gratitude for our health. Let’s make it the year that we reshape the idea of what it means to be a man, for the better.

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