Encouraging news has emerged about a drop in male suicide rates.
They are at their lowest since 1981 according to the latest Office for National Statistics data.
There were 4,383 male suicides in 2017 at an average of about 15.5 men per 100,000, which is down from 20 in the late 1980s.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 45 and younger and a lot of this is down to the stigma of men suffering from mental health problems.
If you can’t talk about a problem you have, or if you have nobody to talk to about any issues you need to discuss, it leads to a feeling of helplessness, which can mean these young men taking on drastic action.
Vulnerable and disadvantaged young men are particularly at risk.
A charity called Andy’s Man Club based in Yorkshire is doing some fantastic work with helping young men talk through their problems.
With the mantra ‘It’s OK to talk’, they are a charity that meets up every Monday and just allows blokes to have a chat. It’s fantastic for people who may not have many people to turn to or might not have the money to afford a counsellor. The Samaritans are also doing some fantastic work.
Sometimes a shared situation can help you feel that you’re not on your own. By knowing someone else is going through what you are, it can help you realise that there is a path forward when you think there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to mental health and every situation a person is going through differs massively.
I feel quite lucky that I have a supportive family and some great friends who I can always talk to if I ever feel that I’m going through something difficult.
But for those who are not in the same situation, it is encouraging to know there are places for help, even if they do not have a magic solution.
It’s great that male suicide rates are dropping, but there is a hell of a lot of hard work that needs to be done to reduce this further.