Men - Staying alive and living well
Recently Professor Green the singer/song writer started a campaign to raise awareness of depression in men due to his own experiences and difficulties in coping with loss. Professor Green sings about his feelings and thoughts in the songs ‘Read All About It’ and ‘Lullaby’. Expressing his pain, anger and hurt. Singing those feelings out, seems to be a very cathartic way to let go. Professor Green is campaigning to raise money for Calm - Campaign Against Living Miserably; a website which offers support to men who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
There seems to have been a shift in recent years increasing awareness of men’s emotional well-being. Suicide in men aged between 20 - 45 years of age is the highest killer in men - much higher than women.
Do we need more people in the public eye speaking out about their experiences and how challenging it is to encourage men to feel more inclined in seeking support? Olly Murs recently spoke about his depression after finishing on X-Factor=, and not so long ago Robin Williams’ sad ending highlighted the need for increased support for men who are feeling suicidal.
In many cases, a man may not seem depressed - he seems happy and a bubbly, funny man. It seems that many men of all ages may hide behind a mask, like the Tears of a Clown song.
People may question how can anyone that is so popular and successful feel depressed. Depression takes hold of people regardless of circumstances, age, gender, race etc. When we least expect to have feelings of sadness, loneliness, feeling tired and demotivated, experiencing these can be confusing for anyone. They are not something we can suddenly snap out of - it can take time, support and self compassion to recover.
Society still places certain expectations of the roles for males and females, with men placed as the main providers, the protectors. When this is stripped away, men feel vulnerable and find that they struggle to make the adjustments to move forward.
Men often feel that they are unable to show their feelings and may not even understand the feelings they are experiencing. The expectation to stay strong and ‘man up’ seems to be for many, the main messages that are communicated to a man who is struggling with his emotions.
What each of us can do is start to make changes to our understanding of men and how they are undergoing many changes and stressors in life. If we can offer more support to men locally and through the media, we can start to make a difference to prevent someone taking their own life.
Counselling is a key source of support and advice for anyone feeling suicidal or lost. Remember ‘No man is an Island’. Asking for support can save your life or someone you know.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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