Luke Adebiyi on Men's Mental Health
It’s almost 10 years to the day where I first shared my story of Anxiety to over 60,000+ individuals across one of the largest Financial Services organizations in the United Kingdom. I still think of that day quite regularly.
The latest results state mental health is 1 in 4, and men’s’ mental health in particular is around 1 in 8.
As a male, in his early 20’s – it was difficult to come to terms with “I am suffering” as I was one of those individuals who said “I would never suffer with Mental Health” but that did happen to me. But why am I talking about Men’s Mental Health?
For me, as a male, there was one layer of stigma attached to having a Mental Health but to add to that, was a second layer of “you are a man”. Back in those days, as a male and still even more so now, you are expected to be strong, both mentally and psychically, not let anything phase you, carry other people and when admitting that there is a flaw in you as a person is an embarrassing thing to go through, that the lads in the group will think you’re weak and that actually you’re a weak man for being like this.
But to be totally honest, that was just my mind going over and over the worst case scenario as our brains are built to do. “I’m never going to have friends again”, “their going to think I am a waste of space” and “they just don’t understand” on repeat for hours on end. But, on the other hand – when you look at the statistics, at least one of those friends were probably suffering too, and they were.
When you take a step back, and have a look – these people are the closest people around you, the people that you are meant to fall back on, the people that you’re meant to trust with your life. When I told them about the feelings, I had been having, it was like I was telling them what I was having for dinner and they were there for me just like I wanted them to. In fact, they were probably more there for me than I had hoped.
On reflection, you’re not weak. I’m stood here ten years later now a trustee on a fantastic charity to give back. I’ve still got the same friends and in fact, some of them have now gone through what I’ve gone though, on the assumption that they would never suffer. It doesn’t matter who you are, your background, your sexual orientation, your disability or your gender. We can all do this together, and we will all do this together.
For more information on how we can support you in your mental health journey please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Luke Adebiyi - Board of Trustee