Spotlight on men’s mental health ‘crisis’

File picture: StockSnap

File picture: StockSnap

Published Nov 3, 2018

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Too many men try to deal with challenges on their own and suffer in silence.

For this reason, the Men’s Foundation hopes to create more awareness about male mental health this Movember.

According to the Men’s Foundation globally, three out of four suicides are men.

More than 500000 men take their own lives every year. That’s one every minute.

“We’re alarmed by the increasing number of men who take their own lives in South Africa and around the world. In South Africa, where on average 14-18 men are dying by suicide every day. It is clear that we are in a crisis situation,” said Garron Gsell, chief executive and founder of the local Men’s Foundation Movember.

He stressed the importance for men to make man time and stay connected.

“Your friends are important, and spending time with them is good for you. Catch up regularly, check in and make time. Have open conversations. Being there for someone, listening and giving your time, can be life-saving.”

Some signs of poor mental health include feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless and behaviours such as aggression and drinking more than usual, said the foundation’s website.

Gsell said they want to help men deal better with tough times and to be the dads, mates, and sons they want to be. You may know someone who could be suffering in silence.

Gsell’s advice is to show them that you care. The first step in looking out for the men in your life is to take time out to talk to them and simply ask, listen, encourage action and check in.

The foundation is working on ensuring all men and boys are comfortable to reach out to others when they’re struggling.

“Men need to realise that whatever they’re going through, it’s important to know that a simple conversation can make all the difference,” Gsell said.

Emergency numbers: Lifeline: 0861322322 and Suicide Crisis line: 0800567567.

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