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The New Masculinity & Mental Health: a 21-point pledge

Mental Health

Time to draw a line: old school men mocking mental illness vs modern men dealing with it. Mental Health Awareness Week is here, let's be inspired.

At The Book of Man we want to dismantle old school manliness and push for a New Masculinity. A big part of this is about changing attitudes to behaviours which have in the past been considered unmanly, feminine, weak. Mental Health issues have fallen into this bracket, the preserve of sissies, or snowflakes, if you live in America and call yourself Buck.

With Mental Health Awareness Week bringing to light alarming statistics such as 32% of UK adults have had suicidal thoughts, it’s important to seek active change. Because there is a huge problem in this country. And part of the problem is in the way mental health has been regarded, which prevents people seeking help. Men specifically are often guilty of hiding problems away, purely because of those old school attitudes of impenetrable manliness passed down from, well, not that long ago actually – the 50s. When corporate and societal lines were drawn up post-war and the men were sent out to stoically graft while the women stayed home to weep.

Such ideas still linger. Fear of ridicule, of losing face, of being out of control, holds men back and exacerbates the problem.

Therefore, as part of our aim to help create a New Masculinity, here is The Book of Man’s 21-point pledge for change. Do share or like to endorse it.

 

The New Masculinity mental health pledge:
  1. If we suspect we have a mental illness we must not pretend everything is OK.
  2. If we find our lives are in some way affected by what we suspect is a mental health problem then we must not swallow it down, and stoically get on with things in the hope it just goes away.
  3. We must admit there is a problem.
  4. We must share that problem.
  5. We must talk about it to our loved ones, if we can.
  6. We must seek professional help.
  7. We must know that the professionals are there for you on the other end of a line. CALM, The Samaritans, Mind, The Mental Health Foundation, Time To Change. To name but a few.
  8. There is no shame in seeking help. There is no shame in any of this. This has to be acknowledged.
  9. As hard as it is the see the light we must try to find it.
  10. By being more supportive of each other we can be that light for others.
  11. When we learn of our colleagues are suffering at work we must actively support them.
  12. If there is any prejudice or mockery against a person with mental illness at work we must speak up. Even – especially – when it’s our bosses acting with prejudice.
  13. We must ensure there are adequate procedures in all workplace, now. This has to be put onto the agenda of all companies and HR departments.
  14. If a mate has a problem, call them, visit them, take them fishing, be there for them.
  15. If a mate has a problem, don’t try to solve it, just listen.
  16. If you have a problem, call your friends, have them come over, be receptive, try to let them be there for you.
  17. Know that your female friends are there – not just your partners but your platonic friends.
  18. We have to know that mental health issues can affect everyone, but often in very different ways. All are valid.
  19. When such issues do arise it is not your fault.
  20. When such issues do arise we should show empathy for others and in turn receive empathy from others.
  21. We are in this together.

 

Read the story of one man’s struggles to get his depression diagnosed, ‘A Bit Down’.

Read about Mental Health Awareness Week.

Read about The New Masculinity.

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