Yesterday I watch a video by @mandowncornwall, and it left me feeling pretty emotional after. Its aim is to raise awareness of male suicide and to check in with the men in your life because typically speaking, men do not share when they are struggling. But on the flip side I know from my own experience and that of many of the en I work with is that, sometimes we do but not in healthy or constructive ways.
I was nearly part of the statistic that 77% of suicides in the UK are men, and further more that 92% of those men were in active therapy or counselling. I was actively seeking help 7 years ago, sharing my struggles (albeit in unhealthy ways) and I still wanted to take my own life.
I was there. I was ready. I was struggling and feeling completely isolated.
And somehow I made it through (go and read my full story if you want to know more) and I found myself on a path of purpose and fulfilment helping other men not feel like I felt, and if they do they don’t do it alone.
Our society in trying to come out of an age of emotional isolation in men. Emotional immaturity.
This is no one’s fault! It’s a symptom of 250 years of disconnection and competition and two world wars that ravaged the psychology and emotional integrity of our forefathers.
For too long we’ve prioritised competing for success over connecting for wisdom.
For too long we’ve avoided our shadow (the parts of ourselves we hide and avoid)
For too long we’ve been consistently asked to ‘more vulnerable’ by society without anyone modelling what that looks like in a mature, measured and constructive way.
If we can find the right space, and place inside and out to express and explore these things in a safe way. to be vulnerable without the fear and doubt that often follows. If we can do that then we will feel a sense f liberation that is almost euphoric.
I know because I've seen it in myself and all the men in my community.
Furthermore, if we integrate our shadow we can learn so much, we can turn our pain into our purpose and thrive.
If we connect with men more authentically and maturely then we can find ourselves in a place where we as a society aren’t losing men to suicide at alarming rates.
*Currently 11 men per day in the uk commit suicide (that’s football team per day)
And only 1 in 5 men report having a close friend they can talk to and even then they’re 50% less likely to share openly and honestly than their female counterparts.
We don’t talk.
We fear judgement, shame, guilt, pain, rejection, abandonment.
But we needn’t.
This is why I’m here. It’s why Mantra Menswork exists.
It’s important we do the work on ourselves to better serve our own purpose and our communities.
I’m doing this in 3 ways through my programmes:
Shadow work - addressing things openly in a safe place without guilt, shame, judgement or criticism.
Real world - the practical things; finances, diet, health, fitness, mindfulness and mental health, behavioural science.
Combatting stats - doing our best to combat the rise in male suicide in our country by offering spaces for men to feel heard and supported so they don’t feel the only way is to end their lives.
All this so men can live happier, more connected, more fulfilling and purposeful lives.
Because we need men. We need good men. We need the most important men in your life to stick around.
Talk to someone today. Or send them my way.
Lots of love ❤️