This month is known as Movember, a term in which is associated with men’s mental health charity, The Movember Foundation. Their aim is to prevent suicide and mental health in men. They also help with prostate cancer and testicular cancer sufferers.
If I were able to grow a mustache, then I would certainly take part. The work this charity does, hits close to home and is really important. The thing is; I havent spoken of my experience with suicide except from my own mental health. So I’m going to share my story of my experience with suicide (with permission.) Before you continue to read please be aware that this includes some graphic content that includes alcohol abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues so if that could be a trigger for you please donot read.
This is my story on loosing someone to suicide;
At the age of 12 my Mum was with someone who was an alcoholic and involved in domestic violence. In the January of 2008 it had just been a week or two after my 13th birthday, Mum was asked to go down and identify his body and later on told he had committed suicide. It truly was an awful time for mum and for me, as I had to see her cry and there was nothing I could do to help the pain. For me I didn’t really know how to cope, I went to school just 2 days after and ended up collapsing in tears during the morning class and was sent home. Within a week after, my uncle lost his battle to cancer and then my step granda to cancer too. Not long after the suicide, we had come to learn that he had suffered from a Personality Disorder and had drank alcohol to try and cope with that.
Sometimes when we loose someone, they live on in other parts of our lives such as an item, a diary or a song. Before he died, Nickleback was his favourite. So when it comes to that time of year I like to put on If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickleback. The lyrics are also very true and if you’ve listened to it then you’ll know how loud it speaks out to you.
For men, mental health is much harder to talk about because there is this stigma that men shouldn’t cry or are much less of a man if they show emotion and that just isn’t true. Why should mental health be different for men than women? It shouldn’t and isn’t – fact. There are so many ways in which mental health can affect a person. My findings online research is that in 2017 5,821 suicides were recorded in the UK, 75% being male and 25% female. Drug and alcohol abuse is not an uncommon problem within people who suffer from mental health issues. The Movember movement seeks to help raise awareness about men’s mental health and to help them be able to speak to someone about their mental health and daily stresses in life. Men grow a beard and/or mustache to raise money for this charity who specifically day in, day out, tackles these issues. Mental health is really important, infact just as important to your physical health. But here’s the problem we face… men don’t want to talk about it. Let’s work to try and change that.
I think it’s a really great movement mostly via social media and I have seen money raised by a few people I know for Prostate Cancer and The Movember Foundation already! One person who is unwell himself, is raising money, growing a beard and moustache. He is the founder of The Sick but Invisible Campaign, Ste Walker. If you would like to donate please click here! To donate to Adz Michael’s page please click here! I have donated this month and even the littlest of pounds can go a huge way to help all men out there battling with mental health issues. Being through what I have and loosing someone to suicide, no person should ever have to feel like the only way out is out of this life.
For mental health services advice and information please visit the nhs mental health services page.