Men Don’t Cry!

Friday, May 6, 2016 • Liverpool Arts Society

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You turn up to the party a little bit boozy from pre-drinks at Deano’s flat. You’re looking the business in your new ‘Topman’ shirt and you can’t wait to get proper f***in’ messy. The boys are all looking good, the girls look even better and the music is pulsing round the flat. You’ve got your Frosty Jacks Cider and you’re on the pull. Castles in the sky in banging out of the speakers, someone pulls a strobe light out of their room, you’re taken back to the 90’s rave scene. You turn to the person next to you…

“Let’s talk about mental health, suicide and depression…”

The music cuts out.

This is probably the quickest way to empty a room and kill a conversation dead. The sad thing is, it shouldn’t be and we shouldn’t be afraid of talking about it because you know what lads its killing us. I won’t overload you with a torrent of horrendous facts and figures because I only need one.

In 2013 there were 6,233 suicides in the UK, 4,858 of the recorded cases were male 77%. More men kill themselves every year than die in any conflict or war the United Kingdom wages.

“Men don’t cry”! That’s rubbish! I cry all the time and I’m still a man… I think.

I cried when Leicester City Football Club got relegated to the third tier of English football in 2008 and who’s laughing now. I cried when John Snow was mugged of by his mates on ‘Game of Thrones’. I cried when I watched a rugby league player stand up in front of a conference of 120 mental health experts and told me he wanted to kill himself after a career ending injury. Gentlemen, we don’t talk and that needs to change.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on mental health and suicide, in fact I’m very new to it all but I’m learning fast and I am meeting new amazing organisations and companies that are fighting together. The likes of C.A.L.M (Campaign against living miserably) the Samaritans, PAPYRUS (Prevention of young suicide) are all leading the campaign and they won’t stop until us men put aside our egos and start talking to each other about how we are feeling.

Its dead easy boys! I promise. And to help you all out I have put together an incredible little script of how to start a conversation around mental well-being.

Me:                  Oi! Deano!

Deano:             What?

Me:                  How have you been?

AND THAT’S IT DEAD EASY.

The scariest thing around suicide is how it affects anybody at any time no matter what class, race or background statistics show that any of us can be affected at any time in our life. 9 people out of every 100,000 in the UK decide that they can no longer live with themselves and choose to end their lives. I understand that talking about mental health isn’t something most people normally do but just look around your friendship group and think that 1 of your mates could be suffering in silence and he may only need someone to talk to, to stop him doing something stupid. Again, this is not a cure for depression it’s simply a step towards better mental well-being.

I personally have known suicide within my friends and felt the ramifications it has on my family. It is a bleak topic that we all turn a blind eye to. I believe that if we tackle the subject in a safe and secure environment: over a cup of tea, down the pub with a friend or even just a chat with your dad, we can help fight against this growing issue.

I had a black dog and his name was depression.

If all I achieve through this blog is for one person to have one chat about mental health with a mate down the pub, over a pint then I would happily write 6,233 more to help save the male.

I run a theatrical organisation called M.F.A.T.S (Misery for all to see) that raises awareness for mental health, suicide and depression. We gather stories from the families and friends of people who have been affected by suicide and dramatize these stories to be performed and help raise awareness.

Follow us on twitter @mfats01 and check out our website www.mfats.co.uk join the fight with C.A.L.M and don’t let yourself or anybody you know be a man down.

If you have been affected by suicide or depression and feel the need to talk to a professional helpline then I urge you to contact C.A.L.M.S helpline which runs from 5pm to midnight every day of the week.

Call 0800 58 58 58

By Ryan K. Byrne

M.F.A.T.S