We still live in a world where mental health stigma is very real, and very debilitating. Yes in some avenues the awareness is raising, but, the actual support systems don't seem to be growing at the same rate. Campaigns constantly tell people, and men in particular, that its ok not to be ok. But, they don't tell you how to actually implement and understand this. Many people struggle or don't feel able to talk to their friends about this, they may worry about being judged or they may not think people will understand unless they have experienced it.
It's important to realise that MH affects everyone, not just men. However, according to mentalhealth.org - men only make up 36% of referrals to psychological therapies. They are less likely to approach friends and family, they are more likely to turn to harmful substances such a drink and drugs to cope. Tragically, suicide is also the biggest killer of men under 50. That last fact is shocking.
The focus of my campaign, is to create a safe group where Men can go - that can be made up of a variety of ways and will be constantly expanded. It doesn't necessarily have to be where people sit in a circle and take turns speaking, it could just be somewhere people can meet other people and feel they aren't alone. I'm not a counsellor, or a doctor - I am a 34 year old man that has suffered MH issues for half my life - I have struggled for support - I've considered ending my life as I felt I had no help, nobody that could understand - I've lost someone to suicide, and I UNDERSTAND how abandoned you can feel. This is not saying that there aren't other options or avenues, there are some great charities in place, but they are up against things and you don't tend to meet others in this position from my experience. When I was at my lowest, I searched my area and couldn't find anyone or anything - this MUST change.
If this can help or save 1 person - then even if you are able to just donate £1 - it will be the best £1 you will ever spend. Please help me try and help others.