Over the last year I have attended meetings of SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide), Cruse and Samaritans – all to do with dealing with the loss of a dear one through suicide. The common feature of all these meetings without exception is the predominance of female participants. We know that everyone deals with their grief in their own way but the disparity between the sexes has been very obvious. This is an example of women being more willing to ask for and accept help than men.
Given that 3 out of 4 completed suicides are men, this article from The Guardian today offers a relevant statistic. It has been found that 38% of the 607 professional football players interviewed revealed that they had suffered from serious depression at some stage or another, especially after a serious injury. That is approximately 3 times the general population.
The former chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association Clark Carlisle admitted to being suicidal last year and has been very open about his struggle with depression. He is a true role model as he genuinely comes from a place of wanting to help others who might be suffering in silence.
Here are a few charities that focus essentially on men’s mental well being –
CALM: Based in London; very youthful and innovative : https://www.thecalmzone.net/
Band of Brothers, for Military men and women : http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/band-of-brothers/
Men’s Sheds : Sustainable commercial projects run by men, based in Australia: http://www.mensheds.org.au/
The Mankind Project through The New Warrior training offered in 40 centres in America: http://mankindproject.org/
It is perhaps easier for men to bond while active. Creating avenues for men to express themselves and process their feelings has got to be done.