Viewpoint: Is macho culture causing young men to take their own lives?

This BBC News article appeared online yesterday, and offers some valuable insights into the world of male mental health today. A brave young man speaks out about his own experience of schizophrenia and depression, calling for increased awareness of connections between modern masculinities and mental health, and opposing the government’s plans to cut funding from mental health services. 

BBC news - macho culture and male suicide

Three times as many men as women kill themselves. Is a culture of masculinity where men struggle to communicate their feelings partly to blame, asks Jonny Benjamin.

I can vividly recall the moment I decided I was going to take my own life. It was early on the Sunday evening of 13 January 2008. Suicide had been something I had contemplated since my mid-teens, but it wasn’t until now, just a couple of weeks from my 21st birthday, that I made a plan to actually end my life.

From the point of making my decision to the moment I attempted to go through with it the next day, I came into contact with various people, including family, friends and even doctors. I had just been diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression and was in hospital being treated for it at the time. None of them had any notion of my imminent intentions. Simply, I was too ashamed and afraid of what they might think if I were to tell them about the suicidal thoughts and feelings that were consuming me. Furthermore, I just could not find the words to vocalise my state of mind.

I was stopped from killing myself by the incredible kindness of a passing stranger, who I recently launched a social media campaign to track down so I could express my gratitude. The Find Mike campaign quickly went viral, and within just two weeks we were reunited.

Read the full article on the BBC news website here


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