Male suicide is the single biggest killer of British men under the age of 45. When you take a moment to let that statistic sink in, you really begin to realise just how terrifying it is. Perhaps the most unsettling part of it all is the fact that, according to a CALM survey, 41 percent of men who contemplated ending their lives never actually spoke to anyone about it. Not medical professionals, not family members, not even friends. The reasons they listed for keeping it to themselves varied from not wanting to worry people or talk about feelings to, paradoxically, 'not wanting to cause a fuss'. It's quite plain to see that this reluctance to discuss how we're feeling is an incredibly serious issue with catastrophic consequences. Why on earth aren't we talking about this? Why is it expected of us to simply keep quiet and 'man up'? Shouldn't we be the generation that, once and for all, breaks the stigma around mental health and begins talking about how we actually feel? It's gone on for far too long. Let's open up about how we feel and, in doing so, make our own lives, and the lives of those around us, more liveable. Let's talk about our worries, our anxieties and our low moments. When you open up, you realise that the very same problems you felt were insurmountable are actually challenges that other people have not only faced, but also conquered. In an attempt to get people chatting, we are launching our mental health awareness week, 'U OK M8?'. It's a series of articles, films and illustrations all designed to spark conversation. And we genuinely hope that it does. You really don't have to suffer in silence. Please, please do not be afraid to talk.
Ian Moore, Content Director, TheLADbible.
Illustrations by danwilson1982