Chris Mead / Dedhapi
I hope this helps explain why I’m so keen to raise money for men’s mental health.
As some of you know, I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was 19. Out of know where he was gone, my whole life darkened suddenly. He was, and still is my idol and I’ve never been able to fill that void. Being quite distant from both sides of my family, it felt very lonely.
For a few years I kept myself busy and tried to ignore the grief. I started to get chest pains causing me to have panic attacks. In turn these panic attacks caused further chest pains and a vicious cycle was born. I began having these in social situations, which started my anxiety. As this anxiety built more over time, I became quieter and more reserved. Slowly, I started avoiding social situations. Distancing myself from friends. Yet again feeling alone.
Many might not have realised, as like many people suffering from depression and anxiety, I wore a mask. I ‘toughened up’ and ‘got on with it’. This isn’t a solution.
Thankfully, I’ve had some close friends and family that have reached out and stuck by me. I began to recognise I had a problem and chose to sort it out. I spoke to people, I got help from the NHS and some amazing local charities. Mind, ThinkAction and Cruse have been incredible.
I’ve started to deal with my issues, but many others will suffer in silence. I wanted to share this to show that we can talk about it. It matters and we need to bury the stigma. You don’t have to donate, but check in with your friends or family. Offer support to those that need it. Stop men dying too young.
I raised £865 after riding 300 miles over the course of a month. The longest single ride was 45 miles from Rochester to Whitstable. I had various friends who would join me on rides over weekends.
Movember started in Australia with men growing moustaches over the month of November to help raise awareness for prostate cancer, growing to a global audience and then expanding to help raise awareness for the biggest killer in young men – suicide.
Whilst riding to raise money towards this amazing charity, I also grew a handsome moustache! On the final day of Movember, fundraisers are encouraged to ‘fly half mast’ in respect of the 357 men who took their own lives during the month.
Resources & Stats
Globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide.
In United Kingdom, 75% of suicides are men. (5,000 annually)
510,000 men die from suicide each year. That’s one every minute. (Globally)
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
1 in 8 men in the UK will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Not enough talk about it. Somethings got to change.
Male suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK
The causes of suicide are complex. There’s no single reason why men take their own lives, but we do know that by improving overall mental health we can reduce the risk of suicide. We need to address untreated mental health conditions among men.
https://www.mind.org.uk/ – Mental Health Support
https://www.thinkaction.org.uk/ – Mental Health Counselling Support
https://www.cruse.org.uk/ – Bereavement Support
Mental Health in the Workplace