I had a discussion with Marc before Christmas about the type of work I wanted to create, and people I wanted to work with. During this discussion, came the topic of purpose. In the communications world, we as creatives have the opportunity to make a change in the power of ideas and create purpose. This got me thinking about the passion project I’m currently working on regarding the extremely alarming situation with men’s health in our current social landscape.
Men do not speak about emotions and the stresses of life. Well… the majority anyway, and that’s statistically factual. So many stereotypes of the importance of being a ‘man’, ‘alpha’ putting a personal strain on one’s self to achieve a certain expectation is completely deteriorating men’s mental health more so than ever.
Here are some stats for you.
- Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35
- 1 in 8 men have mental health issues
- Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women
- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men
- Over three-quarters of people who kill themselves are men
- Men report significantly lower life satisfaction than women in the Government’s national well-being survey – with those aged 45 to 59 reporting the lowest levels of life satisfaction
- 73% of adults who ‘go missing’ are men
- 87% of rough sleepers are men
I could probably go on here… there are endless pages of statistics. The point is we are only now really speaking about the hidden and underlying issues that are currently going on within men’s mental health both from a personal and professional standpoint, and things need to change.
I feel that everything that is coming out for this subject is shit. It’s all about how ‘men can cry’, it’s okay… ‘men can speak to people’. It’s not about this. It’s about providing tools for a man to challenge his emotions whatever they are at that present moment.
True wealth is not built upon personal gain, sexual partners, possessions or social positioning. It’s not built upon the things we should and need to achieve; our wealth is built upon handling and living our lives… finding that right balance for contentment, not the contents of it. A huge problem within men is ego and pride. We feel the need to impress, achieve, influence and have placed our ideas of happiness on pedestals of goals, instead of seeing what truly is in front of us.
Honestly, this SCAB could go on for thousands of words. This subject really hits home from a personal level for me, and I’ve decided to try my hand at making some form of change.
My best friend from home has recently quit a high-level job in banking to endure life coaching and mental health awareness within businesses. We have recently got together to come up with a product, and a series of potential solutions that looks at this topic differently, and hopefully become a new beacon of hope. Over Christmas, it tied perfectly into the ‘passion project’ assignment, and we have both been working relentlessly on this to have something ready for February. I cannot express how much of a different me and my friend really want to make on this issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re an 18-year-old young man and confused about your next step in life, or whether you’re the 46-year-old recently divorced individual who’s lost his kids and wife. The grieving man, the heartbroken gentleman, a lost individual, it’s never too late to seek help and change your life. We don’t want any more statistics, in reality at this current state, is an unheard subject.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes”.