UK Suicide takes 84 Men A Week
Somethining I just found out is that 84 men a week in the UK will commit suicide. It's the highest killer of men under 50 in the United Kingdom. Let that sink in for a moment. Now think about how many men you know. Now add to that fact that there are 1 in 4 people who suffer with depression or similar ailment and that the suicide rate amongst women has risen by 1.9% since 2013, but even with this fact men are still three times more likely to take their own lives (Source)
Whilst I am not really shocked at the levels of these mental health issues, particularly for the UK, the idea that almost twelve men a day kill themselves because they feel they have no-where to turn is disturbing. Mental health is far less stigmatised now than it was but for men it's far more difficult to talk about because it's harder for us to be weak.
Depression sucks. What I mean to say is that it sucks because it puts you in a frame of mind that makes you feel hopeless. It sucks hope. If you don't know you're depressed and you feel this way it's even worse as there's no discernable reason for it. How could you then be expected to tell your loved ones that you feel this way? It's bad enough when you know why you feel the way you do, but the worst part is feeling like no-one will understand.
So how do we fix this? I don't think it's down to educating unhealthy minds, but I do believe people with healthy minds should educate themselves to look for the signs, when you have an illness that makes you feel like you can't speak to anyone for fear of bringing them down with you, it's important for healthy minds to recognise that they are allowed to ask a person they fear is suffering if they need a reassuring ear. people need to be told it's okay not to feel okay.
Add on top of this that most people will experience some form depression in their lives, whether it be the consequence of emotional trauma or not, there has to be a distinction made between the acute form of the ilness and the chronic life-long chemical imbalance that some people do suffer with.
The message I'm trying to send here is that we all have a responsibility to those around us to let them know it's okay to ask for help. and if you're suffering, you're allowed to suffer, but you don't have to be alone. Take notice of the men in your life, do a little research into the signs and don't be afraid to speak up, you could save a life.