Disclaimer: This post discusses suicide and statistics associated with suicide. If you are affected by this post then please seek professional advice and support from a trained medical professional.
“You alright mate?” is a common phrase in the North – to translate it means “Are you okay?” It’s a question a lot of us ask and answer too, but do we always answer the way we really feel? Ask yourself if you are alright. I’m fine today – and that’s the honest answer. But our answer can change from day to day and possibly even hour by hour.
I’ve decided to collaborate with Grassroots Suicide Prevention and Suicide Safer Brighton and Hove so I can raise awareness of their new campaign.
I wanted to show my support and spread the word about their campaign Alright Mate.
The campaign focuses on encouraging male friends to look out for each other.
The hope is that then this will foster conversations that include talking about concerns and thoughts on suicide.
I’m shocked by some of the statistics:
Men aged 45 to 59 had the highest suicide rate in 2014 – and worryingly the rate of suicides in this age group is increasing (ONS, 2014).
I’lll let that sink in.
Seventy-six per cent of all suicides in 2014 were men (ONS, 2014).
I won’t stand for it.
Shockingly gay, bisexual and trans men are more likely to think about and attempt suicide. (See statistics below).
Intervention early enough can prevent.
We all have to encourage our male friends to talk about it.
I wouldn’t want any of my male friends to suffer in silence.
I don’t – so why should any male.
Men aren’t weak for showing how they really feel. They are strong for showing their emotions and being open about their thoughts. I see that as a strength.
It’s difficult admitting what’s in your head, but for men it’s harder.
It’s been ingrained in society that men shouldn’t be emotional.
They should – if they aren’t it could be fatal.
There is a way out – talking about it.
It takes courage and strength and that’s how society see’s men – as strong. Turn the stigma around to be a positive.
The sooner we help battle the stereotype that talking is a sign of weakness, the more we can help save lives.
Think about it.
You could save a life. You could save your life.
I am not a male, but I greatly support men – and women – talking about their feelings.
I know people who have unfortunately taken their own life or had suicidal thoughts.
It’s difficult to hear a loved one say they feel that way – but it could save their lives so it needs to be said – and sooner rather than later too.
Family members or friends – or maybe even a stranger may be struggling to #StayAlive so that’s why I’m joining hundreds of males with my Ok Selfie.
I’m also making a pledge to:
- Tell my male friends when I’m worried about them.
- Listen to my male friends without judgement when they need someone to talk to.
- Ask directly if I think you are trying to tell me about suicide.
- Offer to help support my male friends when they are struggling and/or thinking about suicide.
I’m also supporting the Stay Alive app which offers help and support both to people with thoughts of suicide, and to people concerned about someone else.
It’s not nice hearing someone has taken their life.
Talk. No-one wants it to be too late.
Why not share your #OKSelfie with me on my social media accounts?