Let’s talk about… Manning up

Hello Readers,

Today’s post is titled manning up this post will be about men mental health and being told to “man up” and the harm these two simple words can cause. This post will be focusing on male mental health I know mental health isn’t gender specific but men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women and less likely to seek help. If you don’t think this is an issue let me break it down
·         Globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide.
·         In the United Kingdom, 75% of suicides are men.
·         suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35
·         Men have measurably lower access to the social support of friends, relatives and community
·         1 in 40 men think about suicide over the course of a year.

Mental health problems can affect anyone but discrimination and stigma can make people uneasy to open up about their experiences and seek help. I know talking about mental health is tough and remains both a taboo subject for men and women and on average more women are diagnosed with common mental health problems than men. However, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. Before researching and writing this post I wasn't aware of how horrific the statistics were. 

I know every year that men have Movember where men across the world, take the opportunity in November to raise awareness and tackle the issues of men’s health by not shaving for 30 days. Part of the stigma that still exists around mental health for men is that men have greater difficulty talking about their own struggles than women do.

The social stereotypes that men should be “tough” and “fearless” complicate issues further as many men feel they are not a “man” if they show any sign of weakness. This is something that has been drilled into boys from a young age, by terms such as “Only girls cry”, “Don’t be a wuss” and “Man up”. That expression “Man up” is still often used for the wrong reasons and even the concept that mental health can be conquered by simply acting more “like a man” is mind-blowing that’s not how it works! It’s important to recognise the signs and encourage each other to speak about how we are feeling there’s no shame in feeling vulnerable, lost or sad; everyone experiences these emotions in their life. We need to raise awareness by creating conversations and removing the taboo around men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

In my opinion “Man up” has outlived its usefulness, assuming it was ever useful. We need to remove the taboo around men talking about mental health. Even the taboo that surrounds mental health all together it is okay not to be okay. It okay to talk about how you feel and most important of all it is okay to reach out and say you are not okay. You are not weak or invalidated for seeking help in my opinion you are braver than you think it takes a lot to speak out and seek help.

You are not alone
To speak with someone immediately, contact Samaritans on 116 123.

Facts and figures