To the man who stood at the edge, the man crying in his car or staring at the tub of pills debating whether enough is in fact enough. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry we as a society have given men such high expectations of emotions or lack there of. I’m sorry you are debating between sharing your feelings and being looked at like a lesser man and ending your life because it’s all become too much in an equal battle of which is worse. “In the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. In the Republic of Ireland, the rate is four times higher among men than women.”
To the man that’s hiding bruises and burns from everyone, who’s been beaten from an inch of his life from a horrible partner, I’m sorry we have put you in a position where not many people would believe what is happening to you. That it’s all one big joke and you can’t be abused because you’re a bloke. I’m sorry that society have given the right for a woman to hit a man with it being laughable, but the other way round is disgusting, shameful and hunted. That we find it so hard to believe that men can be the one’s abused that around 786,000 men suffered abuse in the year ending March 2019, this comes as a shock. Although this number could be much higher as men are less likely to come forward and report their abuse to the authorities or keep it a secret all together, three times more likely than women.
To the man who is alone, who has loved and utterly lost with grief overwhelmed with no one to turn to because they have not been able to confide in their family or friends. As we have programmed ourselves to believe that men shouldn’t cry or feel even. To the men who are lost in a pit of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues without even the ability to reach for help and suffer day in day out because they are unable to find a support system that works for them.
To the man who looks at himself in the mirror and feels sick, looks at himself and doesn’t see the beauty/handsomeness that is reflecting at him. I’m sorry we are in a society that we have given men the bodies to compare to but not even reflecting on the mental damage this has caused to many men across the world. We have brought light to ‘dad bods’ as well as Calvin Klein models which is a fantastic step in the right direction but what about every other million body type there is. We have become a society that have placed women in the front frame of people who have body issues and self-consciousness that we forget men have the right to feel this way as well. I myself haven’t even thought about the pressure that is put on them to match the muscular Zac Effron or Chris Pratt dad bod that seems crazily unrealistic to even put them in to those categories.
Over this period mental health is extremely important and we should regularly be checking up on our friends and family. This week I have decided to talk specifically in regards to male mental health as I know many of my friends, acquaintance and family members have suffered throughout (as well as previously) and have not found the confidence to get help, to be able to talk or be comfortable in opening up about their mental health. I have also seen numerous adverts in support of women in domestic abusive relationships and helplines they have been able to contact throughout this time without raising suspicion and placing themselves in more danger without the mention of males in similar situations. We have come accustom to men not being in this position we don’t give them the opportunity to reach out without it being biased towards women. I’m in no way slagging off these helplines or supportive messages for women in these positions but only wish we could give the same attention to men in a similar situation. (Find Helplines here) I know they are out there and have helped many men in abusive relationship or situations to find help and remove themselves from this area of their lives.
As society has moved forward, we have begun to open our eyes to mental health issues after losing numerous people that have been in the limelight to suicide. Males especially the likes of Robin Williams, Gary Speed, Chester Bennginton, Avicii and more recently Mike Thalassitis shocked our society into realising that mental health issues in males are continuingly affecting and leading to suicide. The sad fact is that we forget, its in the newspaper or online for a number of weeks and often remembered on anniversaries but we slowly return to a world of negativity, obliviousness and hatred. I want us to remember to check up on our loved ones, especially males who have recently stopped coming out replying to messages, who don’t seem to be themselves but every time you ask they say their okay without much of anything else.
Don’t stop talking! We need to keep our society in the mindset of conversation, be openly able to talk about mental health issues no matter gender, age or race. End the stigma of male mental health and help men to be open about mental health issues and the feelings that are burying down in an act to keep up the ‘hard man’ persona they have been taught to keep. Not just when we lose someone should we be talking about it but every damn day because we don’t want to lose anyone else to suicide.