I am only 22 years old, and in the past few months, I’ve had multiple male friends try to take their own lives by suicide and it’s been devastating for everyone, regardless of the outcome.
One friend sadly didn’t survive, he spent a week in a coma and never woke up again. That was one of the longest weeks of a lot of people’s lives. He was only 29 years old.
So why is it that so many men are taking their own lives? I can’t help but wonder what the world is doing so wrong to make it this way. People have always struggled with their mental health and honestly, I think men more-so because they are the gender of ‘less emotions’. So why is it becoming such an epidemic now? Or is it just that we’re paying more attention?
In my opinion, the world messed up, humanity messed up. Society taught boys to ‘man up’ from a young age, bullied them in school for being emotional and laughed at them when they cried. But now when they’re dying we cry our eyes out at their funerals and feel bad for their families and say, ‘He could have asked for help’, ‘he could have told us’, ‘if only he opened up’. Yes, if only, but the thing is, he probably would have, if he actually felt like he could, because unfortunately, even with all of the awareness around mental health issues, there are still so many people screaming at others to just ‘man up’.
Please, if you’re one of those people that are hiding from this or ignoring your friends or loved ones when deep down you know they need help, please, open your eyes, because the men in your life could be dying around you because they feel like they can’t even be men anymore, and you notice, you know that you notice, you just choose to ignore it, and then they’re dead, and you wish you’d done more.
I don’t want to watch any more of my friends die because they feel lost in a world where they think no one will help them. It’s time people realised that they can’t shy away from this anymore.
There are so many men out there who feel weak, who don’t believe that it’s okay not to be okay all of the time.
Well I am telling you now.
You are not weak. You are strong - It takes more strength to admit you have a problem than it does to hide it. Please ask for help, because you won’t be ignored or shunned anymore.
You are just as much of a man as anyone else – Just because someone else may not have a mental health problem or can deal with things less emotionally than you can, does not mean they are ‘manlier’ than you.
You are more loved than you realise – there will always be someone to stop you if you need it, there will always be someone’s shoulder to cry on and there will always be someone who will cry for you.
If you feel like you are the problem, then you are wrong, and I am sorry if society has made you feel that way.
I think we all know that it’s time to stop teaching boys that they have to man up, and actually support them.
And then who knows, maybe, just maybe, boys won’t grow up wanting to kill themselves anymore.
It’s not easy to open up, but please know that you can. If you need to speak to someone regarding your own, or someone else’s mental health issues, here are some useful contacts:
Samaritans Call Service: 116 123 (UK)
Samaritans Text Service: +44 7725 909090
Also; every area has a local Crisis Team, to help you in emergency situations, to find out that information, you can go online, ask your GP, or even ask the Samaritans.
If you can resonate with this, or think it might help anyone out there, then please share this and remind the world just how important this is. And please, let the men in your world know that it’s okay not to be okay.
Or come and tell me what you think: