Men urged to come clean about their mental health

Depressed bloke

New project encourages men to be open about how they are feeling 

19th June 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Men are being urged to join one of Scotland’s first men’s mental health organisations. 

Brothers in Arms aims to prove to men that it is okay to speak about how they are feeling.

The brainchild of Dan Proverbs (pictured below), the project wants to see change in worrying male suicide figures.

Currently men in the UK aged 20 to 49 are more likely to die from suicide than any other cause of death. The suicide rate for men in Scotland is two and a half times higher than that of women. 

At the age of 40 Proverbs considered taking his own life when he was struggling with his mental health, because he didn’t feel able to speak about how he was feeling or ask for help. 

To stop other men going through the same thing he has set up Brothers in Arms so men can support each other. 

Proverbs, from Milngavie, is initially looking to bring together men in East Dunbartonshire to get involved in support groups and online meet ups. As well as this he wants men to come forward and share their stories, to get men speaking about mental health.

The 57 year old, said: “Brothers in Arms is starting as a website and social media platform for men who are at the start of a journey, or in the middle of a journey who might be having emotional difficulties or are having difficulty in talking about what is going on.

“They can go on the site and see there is something there for them, there is lots of information, stories and it can show men they are not alone.“

Dan was diagnosed with PTSD three years ago, but before that he struggled alone and didn’t want to tell anyone what he was going through. 

He said: “I think that men can’t speak about mental health because they are not shown how to speak about it, even from the people they look up to. Whether that be a father figure, or a mentor, if they don’t show emotion or talk about things, you take that on board and think that if they don’t do it, then I can’t do it.

“For me I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone. I didn’t entertain the idea of trying to get help, either going to a doctor or speaking to someone, because I thought, I’m a man, we don’t do that.

“At the age of 40 I contemplated taking my own life. It took ten years of going through a journey and learning to talk to other people to become at peace with myself. Some men don’t have ten years to find that. So we need to try and get to a point where men can learn to talk as soon as they start getting those feelings that might lead them down a path where they take their own lives.”

Calum Irving, See Me director, said: “Mental health is part of everyone’s day to day life, it affects all of us, but there is still a stigma around it.

“Men in particular find it difficult to speak out as we are not encouraged to admit when we are struggling, so it is fantastic to see Brothers in Arms launch.

“Men are less likely to ask each other how they are feeling or chat about what they are going through.

“But no one should ever be made to feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone that they are experiencing a difficult time with their mental health. It’s okay not to be okay, regardless of your gender.”

Comments

Please enter the word you see in the image below: