Content warning: this article contains references to suicide.
Today is International Men's Day, so we're focusing on male mental health. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men in the UK, and in 2015, 75% of all UK suicides were male. These shocking statistics show that this a subject which needs to be addressed urgently.
While men and women experience many of the same mental illnesses, their willingness to talk about their feelings is often very different. Societally, there is pressure on men to be perceived as strong, and talking about your feelings or crying is often perceived as being weak. This kind of societal pressure perpetuates the stereotype that 'boys don't cry', and means that men can find it uncomfortable and difficult to talk openly about their feelings, even to those closest to them. Because of this, men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health problems, and as the statistics show, this is incredibly harmful to men.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, it’s so important to talk about it. Remember, there’s nothing to be ashamed about in talking about how you feel; recognising that you or someone close to you may be suffering with a mental illness is the first step towards receiving treatment and getting better.
If you need more support, there are lots of services available that can help:
CALM (A charity dedicated to supporting men and preventing male suicide):
Nightline (A confidential listening & information services, run by students for students):