It’s the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Yet despite our recognition of horrible diseases, tragic accidents and crime all over the world, there is little attention paid to male suicide.
As British as we are, “how are you?” is asked on the daily. With a throwaway “I’m fine/I’m okay/I’m alright” pleasantry returned. Although unfortunately, what lies behind those simple words is far from ‘fine’. As the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, this shocking statistic needs to really sink in. Just think about it. That man could be your brother, your boyfriend, your husband, your neighbour or cousin. It could be the guy in your local shop you see a few times a week and always seems “alright to me”.
But what is it that is getting us to that point where suicide feels like the only way out?
Well, we just don’t know. Instead we hide away from the topic, hoping the statistic goes down while looking like a rabbit in headlights behind the scenes. We’re stubborn, we’re clueless in some cases, and really we’re often afraid on where to start the conversation at all. Suicide. Say it. How often do you discuss it? How often do you hear about it? How much do you even know about it, really?
Maybe we’re battling higher stress levels than ever before, it’s expensive to live, we struggle to find work and we are pushed to keep it when we do. Maybe we then bottle up those feelings until it gets too much. Suicide is a topic across the board, but here we want to highlight its effects on men because we cannot ignore how big a crisis it is becoming.
Blue is boys, pink is for girls. Barbie and Ken, that kinda thing.
From the minute we’re born we are profiled by our gender. Blue is boys, pink is for girls. Barbie and Ken, that kinda thing. We are shown that boys play football and girls stay warm indoors painting their nails. Us women are chained to the kitchen sink while men make all the money. “Boys don’t cry” and girls are allowed to show emotion. That’s just how we are wired. Well, no. This needs to change.
And here, the conversation starts. #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
We need to abolish these gender codes from the very beginning and stop profiling men and women. We both have emotions, we are both different in many ways and we both need to be heard. Let’s break the taboo of talking about how we really feel and cut out the “I’m fine…” once and for all.