Verne Troyer’s Death Shows We Need To Talk More About Male Suicide And Depression
As many of you will have heard, the actor and comedian Verne Troyer has tragically passed away aged 49.
Best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, Troyer also played Griphook in the first Harry Potter film and made regular guest appearances on Celebrity Juice.
A tribute on Troyer's social media referred heavily to depression and suicide, and the mental health struggles the star suffered from.
A post on his official Facebook account read: "It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today.
"Over the years he's struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much.
"Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it's never too late to reach out to someone for help."
While no cause of death has been announced, it's clear Troyer was battling some internal demons of his own. At a time like this, it's vital to outline the importance of taking mental illness, depression, and suicide seriously.
The statistics surrounding these afflictions, both in the UK and worldwide, are staggering. According to the Samaritans' 2017 Suicide Statistics, in 2015 there were over 6,600 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone.
The highest rate in the UK was for men aged 40-44, while in ROI it was for men aged 25-34. While male rates are consistently higher in both regions, in the UK female suicide numbers are at their highest in a decade.
Meanwhile, a 2014 NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing survey found that roughly one in four adults will experience a mental health illness at some point each year in the UK.
These figures are not to be brushed under the carpet - suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK and the statistics for women are quickly catching up. This is a real issue and it needs to be addressed.
For starters, we all need to learn to be more tolerant and kind to one another - since Troyer's death, many people have taken to Twitter to make jokes on the subject. Not only is this damaging, but it's also telling of how far we have to go with regards to society's attitude and understanding towards mental health.
However, while there's still some way to go, it's important to point out that there is help available.
Depression and suicidal thoughts can create feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and self-loathing, making it all the more difficult to seek help. Speaking out is one of the bravest things you can do and while it might seem scary, just remember you are not alone and there are lots of people out there who want to help.
A good place to start is with a close friend or relative, who can point you in the right direction and assist with getting help.
Speak to your GP and make use of charities like the Samaritans, Mind and Calm. The Samaritans run a 24-hour helpline with listening volunteers who work around the clock to help offer confidential support to anyone suffering from issues ranging from suicidal thoughts to depression; from family issues to financial worries, all the way through to job-related stress.
Whatever route you choose, just remember there is no shame in feeling sad or hopeless. Stay brave, seek help, and don't suffer alone.
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.
Australians can call Lifeline on 131114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 18000 or visit the National Centre Against Bullying website.
Featured Image Credit: PA