Wednesday, 31 August 2016

We've come far but still men silently suffer suicide

In 1973, security at the BBC took 3 hours to decide whether to let in an invited interview guest for Radio 4's TODAY programme who, as a patient himself, was founding a union for mental health patients. In 1974 the US Civil Service finally backed down and removed the question "Have you ever been mentally ill?" from Government employment forms. Only a few years earlier had the fearsome US mental institutions we now picture in nightmares had started to close after a court had ruled it was unjust to make inmates patients work for free. With the economic issues in the UK, institutes were closed but this was abandoning and leaving people without the education or just simply too ill to survive or thrive in Thatcher's Britain.
A 1970s Office at the Cambridge Museum of Computing

Poor +ashens -  Click for full screen!
It took 66 years from the first powered flight to humanity landing on the moon. The pace of advancement is amazing. In 1976 the Queen sent her first email. A few years later the Commodore PET appears with an amazing 8KB of memory. Here we are 40 years later and I'm typing this blog on a laptop which is smaller, lighter, half the price (ignoring inflation) with 8GB of RAM. In 40 years humanity's advancement means my computer is cheaper and has a mind boggling 1,048,576 times the memory. Our advancement also means I get several hundred more emails a week than Queenie did in 1976 with over 70% of them landing in my spam folder for their 'unique' content.

In 2015, more than half the ambulance call-outs to York university students are for self harm. Tabloids no longer shout about teenage pregnancy rates but instead that more teens are self-harming than ever before. In my last post I explained how some unfair and extremely rude behaviour nearly pulled down all my progress in my own EUPD/BPD battles.
"It’s morally repugnant to neglect mental health, but it is also economically stupid, with its cost to the economy. The fact is, we’re not smart on how we spend money. We spend a fortune, rather than preventing it at the start.” - Norman Lamb MP
Click images to view full screen
Over the past decade, the trend has become more and more pronounced; more young men are dying by than own hand than through drugs, traffic accidents or heart disease. For UK women, suicide rates dropped over the 1960s and into the 1970's and have stayed steadily low even dropping slightly lower. Suicide rates for UK men slightly dropped in the 1970s, partially credited due to cleaner engine exhausts, but steadily grew since creating the large gap between men and women. According to the World Health Organisation data, UK women have their lowest suicide rate ever whilst our men have shown little improvement compared to 40 or even 60 years ago.

More young men are dying by than own hand than through drugs, traffic accidents or heart disease.

In other news... we now have two cats! Video below!
Why is there a gap? How has the fight become so lopsided?
 Or are Women just better when it comes to mental health or the stress of our modern world than men?
Are they better are confronting it, handling it and as such discussing it?
in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin.” - Kristen Bell, Actress who plays Princess Anna in Frozen and has Depression and Anxiety.
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I simply have no idea. I just know we need to do more. Please use this chance to flick back through the past weeks of my blog; you can see the most viewed articles in the left-hand sidebar which feature my own battles with depression, self-harm, anxiety, workplace discrimination, speaking in the media and public and being diagnosed with a mental health illness. Would my story been drastically different if I didn't have a penis? Or is it just that society may of treated me slightly differently and I may have been more willing to seek help sooner? I read the blogs and watch the vlogs of fellow mental health advocates (such as Laura's vlog below), sometimes with some envy at how well they can express and articulate their feelings, story and situation. My GCSEs and A Levels tell me that I am a smart enough person but is there something in my male nature or my nurture that prevents me and my fellow men from achieving the same? Or do we not generate the same response from the media or public? Is this discussion sexist for suggesting that women are better at emotional regulation or discussing and resolving mental health issues than men? I don't mean to cause offense but the evidence is all repeated in stats and graphs all over my blog.

PLEASE Comment here or on my facebook page with your thoughts.
Is now the time for local "Time to Change" action groups to just simply highlight the matter and signpost the options for everyone? Including the silently suicidal men?


Just before I go, thank you to everyone who has clicked DONATE below - every penny really helps. As you may of seen from my social media, links below, I have my first professional feature-length acting role and I'm excited to share it with you. You can see more here: DOGGED 

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A video posted by Matthew E Streuli (@matthewstreuli) on