By Nischal Randev and Avisha Holly
” Man up” we say. Of course most of the time we are using this term in a humorous way. But when one reads deeper into this we discover there is a silent epidemic in men’s mental health which relays very much back to this. The perception of “Masculinity” ,”acting like a girl” , and not talking about your feelings or emotions because it may be deemed as a weakness is costing the lives of many men in the UK.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK. It is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in men under the age of 35. The ONS (Office for National Statistics) found that there is in fact a huge gender gap in British suicide, with men more than three times likely to kill themselves as women. Why is this being ignored? Why do we hear so much on mental health but barely any on the extent to which it is effecting men?
Research suggests that we live in a society where men feel pressured to live up to an unrealistic macho image. This expectation of being deemed as weak is leading the mental health crisis. We need to break down these barriers amongst our peer groups and engage in open conversation. Only after this de-stigmatization will men be more likely to say when they can’t handle something or when they have reached a tipping point. For many men suffering in silence has lead to broken careers, broken homes, broken marriages and ultimately broken lives. Next time you are bantering around, think twice about the power of your words and how it may affect the other persons judgement to speak out.
Over recent years, women are finally being able to define their own roles in society, at the same time we should be challenging the stereotypes of what it is to be a man. “Real men are not supposed to be weak, break down or cry”. No. This is wrong. “Real” men can be vulnerable, emotional and insecure because” Real” men are only human.
Nischal Randev, close friend of the team at Friendsline is raising money for the Movember Foundation in aid of men’s health. Read his short story below and please do donate via the link to support men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
“For many years, I, like many men, have been told that we should ‘man up’, don’t show emotions or ask for help as its deemed weak. The reality is far different, that it’s more brave and ‘manly’ to express emotions and most vital, put a hand out and ask for help when needed. True strength and courage come from expressing emotions, knowing when something is wrong and asking for support. I’m a strong believer that mental health is an issue like any other, and should be treated like any issue, with either help from those who you love and/or professionals who understand what a person is going through.
‘Movember’ is an incredible movement which hopes to tackle this, not only for men in need today but also to influence society to change our preconceptions about men, emotions and mental health. Please donate to support this issue, and if anything else, to watch many men in my wonderful company (Endemol Shine Group) like myself grow a beautiful tash (it’s harder than it looks).”