Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Only 20% of the UK population know this fact, and thus suicide continues to kill men and women alike. More than accidents, more than cancer. Really think about that for a second. In men’s case, gender roles have conjoined with concurrent mental illnesses and created perhaps the largest silent killer in the UK today.
As I write this, I am in a rare position. As a friend, I’ve looked for people who have attempted suicide, and have experienced the panic, confusion and anger that follows. People I’ve known and who I remember fondly have died in this way. I am also in the rare position of being a suicide attempt survivor myself, multiple times over. Thus, I am sympathise with both sides of the coin.
Ultimately, as long as stigma around mental illnesses exists then this epidemic will, unfortunately, rage on. The same is also true of men’s gender roles, where they are expected to be ‘hard’, unfeeling and not showing emotion. This combination of factors has created an epidemic that isn’t truly treated as such by the general population or by the current government.
Right now, I’m a good spot. My summer holiday has started and I have four months off, and I’m feeling good generally. If you’d told me this would be the case a few months ago I would have laughed at you. It just goes to show you never really know what’s around the corner I suppose. However I can’t ignore that while I may be well personally all is not well in terms of the societal/cultural landscape of mental illness, and I try to do what I can.
So today, share the articles you like, watch and share the documentaries you love on mental illness. (If you don’t have any, check out the resources page in the sidebar). Share the statistics, or share your own story. You never know where it may lead.
If you’re feeling desperate or suicidal right now please go here: http://studentsagainstdepression.org/get-support/check-suicide-and-self-harm/feeling-like-you-want-to-die/