Male mental health
The importance of males discussing mental health from a female perspective.
Everyone has mental health yet it can be difficult to open up to others about this topic, due to different stigmas we face. Whether this stigma is internalised or from society’s view of the world. We’re all guilty of bottling up our problems once in our lives. The importance of talking openly and freely about mental health is something we all need to work towards, especially as suicide is the biggest killer of both males and females under the age of 25.
Yet UK men are three times more likely to take their own lives compared to females. Terms such as “man up” are derogatory to anyone, insisting someone to close off from others and not speak out if they’re facing problems is damaging and something that needs to change. Opening up to one another doesn’t make anyone weak it can literally saves lives to speak out about our problems and get the support we seriously need.
Somethings we can do is ask someone if they’re okay twice, to make sure as many of us our first response is “I’m fine” but that second time we’re asked it can give us the opportunity to be honest and open with other people.
I grew up with a dad who severely suffered with poor mental health. I thought only males suffered with mental health till I was older and suffered with poor mental health throughout my adolescence. My dad always found it difficult to discuss with me his mental health or even hold a discussion on emotions, it is something he still struggles with today.
Illustration by Freyja
Yet I worry if he didn’t speak out when he first did where he would be today, he still has struggles but he’s now supported and no one around him views him any different. I grew up quick yet I know the realities of the world and how hard it can be to cope when your mental health is poor.
Time to talk
This is one of the main reasons I will always urge people to be open and honest with one another, if a male opens up about their feelings which can be rare, don’t make judgments or comments that will stop them from doing so again. Let them express themselves as it can take a lot of trust and no one deserves that to be broken. Open discussions on social media about mental health with #letstalk take the time to always check in on your loved ones, as it can literally make someone’s day or change their mood to know someone truly cares. Mental health and suicide is such a taboo subject still today yet many have died from this, this is something we need to work towards changing.