Earlier this week I watched a Huffington Post video titled, ‘the last time I cried.’ It is part of a men’s suicide awareness campaign #boyscrytoo. Well-known British males featured in the video including stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan, The Vamps, and the Rizzle Kicks.
Since watching the video I have kept contemplating the subject in my head. Men account for over 75% of all suicides in the United Kingdom, and is the biggest killer for males under 45. The statistics are chilling.
But Britain are not alone. This video reminded me of another awareness movement that took up my Facebook news-feed in September. The majority of my male friends in New Zealand and Australia took part in it. A bit like the ‘no makeup selfie’ challenge in 2014, males were to take a selfie of themselves whilst doing the ‘okay’ sign with their fingers and nominate a buddy to do the same with #ItAintWeakToSpeak and #itsokaytotalk.
Why are men so vulnerable when it comes to the contemplation of taking their own lives? Everyone should feel free to let out their emotions and not worry about a dated social stigma attached to what is a natural process.
Throughout history males have been seen as the superior and ’emotionally harder’ gender, often growing up believing that they must suppress their feelings. Slowly this view is changing and its campaigns on social media platforms that are helping to show us that its okay not to be okay sometimes.
These campaigns are directed to men because that is where the issue is largest, but they are stepping stones to making a ‘taboo’ mental health topic more and more acceptable to openly talk about.
The last time I cried I was watching Me Before You. I wept like a baby even though I knew the ending. When was the last time you cried?