“Fake it til you Make it…”
Stigma, Isolation and Shame…
Three words commonly associated with mental health issues in Men, but why? There is probably no simple answer for this but what I do know is that as boys we are brought up with this ever present social expectation that we must be strong, brave and self sufficient. These expectations are perpetuated by media, schooling and even our parents. It’s not a conscious thing, however the use of phrases such as “Man up”, “Big boys don’t cry” and “Stop being such a girl” reinforce the idea in young men that showing emotion in any form other than anger, is a sign of being unmanly or feminine. Only girls are allowed to cry and only women are allowed to be in touch with their feelings.
Estimates suggest that over half of male depression goes undiagnosed, in part because of male reluctance to talk and show “weakness”, resulting in failed ambitions, strained relationships and in the worse cases suicide. Recently a dear friend of XWHY’s TIm Grayburn made a truly brave and important decision, that decision was to quit his job in order to under take a project with his girlfriend and performance artist (Bryony Kimmings) that acts to shine a light on the dark and often ignored plight of men with mental health issues.
Tim and Bryony are currently raising fund to take their show “Fake it til you Make it” on tour in the UK and Australia. ‘Fake it til you Make it’ is a fun, honest look into male depression and the stigma surrounding it. Men are far too closed when it comes to talking about their mental health and if this project helps just one man then it will have been an incredible success. If you would like to show your support for an issue close to our heart and the heart of anyone that has ever been affected by mental illness then please do click HERE and share the video to help Tim and Bryony bring male depression to the forefront of peoples minds. Just by sharing the video once you might be able to let someone close to you understand that what they are feeling is not unusual and that they are not the only one.
1 in 4 of us will suffer from mental health issues in our lifetime and suicide is the number one killer of men under 35 in the UK. Let’s all start talking about it a little bit more and remove the some of the shame felt by our young men in the UK and around the globe….It’s time to put the Men in to mental health.