Every two hours in the UK, a man takes his own life.
That means today, and every day of the year, 12 men in Britain will tragically cut their lives short.
Suicide statistics are shockingly high, and while we’re certainly talking about mental health more than ever, the numbers are proof enough there’s a long, long way to go.
The main link to suicide is depression.
Men with a diagnosed mental health condition are shown to be at a ‘higher risk of either attempting and completing suicide’, according to MentalHealth.org.uk.
‘Depression’ was a word that came into my life was when I was very young. I’d been told my uncle ‘suffered’ with it, but it was rarely spoken about and I didn’t truly understand what it meant.
And then one morning I went downstairs to be told the news my uncle had died, and that he’d killed himself. I soon came to realise how serious mental health was, and is.
Having spent years suffering and never seeking help, putting on a brave face and ‘carrying on’, my uncle was well-prepared for how, and when he was going to end his life.
He had written a letter before he died, which was then read out at his funeral at his request. It was my uncle’s way of explaining why he’d taken his life, what day-to-day life had been like for him, how he was disappointed to wake up in the morning and how depression had consumed everything he did.
My uncle had put a brave face on most days, taking his grandchildren out, spending time with the family and working hard, but underneath everything, he had been struggling until it became too much for him.
This death was heartbreaking. That was in 2005, and despite coming a long way since then, suicide is one of the leading causes of death of men in Britain to this day.
The Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2017 showed there were 6,639 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland (4,997 were men) in 2015, with the highest suicide rate being men aged 40 to 44.
According to the Samaritans, men are ‘three times more likely’ to take their own lives than women in the UK.
Charity Movember UK said suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 15 to 44 and they’re urging men to talk and seek professional advice if they’re concerned about their mental health.
We know around 75 per cent of all suicides across the world are men, and in some countries such as the USA, this rate is higher.
We are taking a stand to put an end to this problem. At the Movember Foundation, we are empowering men worldwide with the tools and resources to be mentally healthy and well and navigate the tough times, surrounded by friends and family.
Suicide is a complex yet preventable public health issue. We believe there are many contributing factors. Historically the dominant masculinity is one that champions stoicism, independence, invulnerability and avoidance of negative emotions. In particular, self-reliance has been shown to be associated with negative health outcomes including suicidal thinking.
We are encouraging men across the world to be men of more words because we know that talking saves lives. This is a good place to start but if they are concerned they may be depressed, anxious or thinking about suicide it is important they speak to a healthcare professional.
Over the past few years, a number of men in the public eye have died by suicide thrusting male suicide into the public eye; Chester Bennington, Alexander McQueen, Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, and Gary Speed all ended their lives. Some were open about their battles, others weren’t.
Chester, in particular, was open about his struggles not only in his song lyrics, but in interviews.
In one interview with KissFM, he used the platform to explain what dealing with depression was like for him and how it clouded his judgement day-to-day:
I have a hard time with life. Sometimes it’s great, but a lot of times for me it’s really hard. No matter how I’m feeling, I always find myself struggling with certain patterns of behaviour. I find myself stuck in the same thing that keeps repeating over and over again. And I’m like ‘How do I end this?’.
And it’s that moment when you’re in it and then you kind of separate yourself from that situation and you look at it for what it is and you’re able to do something about it. You’ve now broken out of that circle, that cycle.
The CALM helpline is now open 0800 585858. 5pm – midnight. Free, anonymous & confidential. Please RT if you know someone who may need it.
— CALM (@theCALMzone) September 8, 2018
Sean Hedley, 27, has been speaking out about the stigma attached to young men, and how he’d hidden his depression for more than three years because he was scared people ‘wouldn’t want to know’.
The 27-year-old is on a mission to help other men talk about their mental health battles and been involved in setting up a group which runs Monday to Friday in Derby.
He told UNILAD:
When I was around 21, I started to struggle with depression. It was caused by a build of things; a break up in a relationship and being in and out of jobs.
From Monday through to Friday I hid it, laughing and joking on the construction site I was working on. It was like nothing was wrong with me. Then, I’d be going out at weekends, every weekend, hiding the fact I had something going on in my head and I wasn’t willing to accept it myself.
I had this horrible feeling people would think less of me and at that age you just want to be as popular as possible. I didn’t believe people would understand what was going on in my head.
I bottled it all up for a couple of years and eventually I broke down. Every time I woke up it was like waking up in a ice cold room with dark walls. I didn’t want to get up in the morning for work and I didn’t want to keep living the nightmare. This went on until I was around 24 or 25 and I finally went to the doctors. I’d had enough of feeling down and out. I’d had enough of not being myself.
Sean recorded an honest, open video talking about his struggles, which he then shared on social media, saying ‘It’s time to talk’.
Watch his video here:
The support group, which Sean is involved in, was set up to help other men talk, and to provide them a ‘safe zone’.
This gives people a platform to be able to open up and talk about their struggles, something Sean found helpful in his own experience.
He told us:
In January, I had a meeting with the Derby County Community Trust about setting up a group for males who suffer with mental health problems including stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and so on.
I wanted to create a ‘safe zone’ for men across Derbyshire. The trust were extremely helpful and keen to get involved and get a group set up. We have named the group ‘TeamTalk’ and run sessions every Monday from 6pm until 8pm.
In June we had our first session and we haven’t looked back since! We are growing at a rapid rate and I’m extremely proud that we have the group up and running!
— Sean Hedley (@SeanTHedley) September 4, 2018
A Movember spokesman said it’s important for men to not only prioritise their physical health, but their mental health as well.
Men need to think about building and strengthening their mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing is like a bank account you need to frequent and ongoing deposits by doing things like spending time with friends, doing exercise, resting, managing stress well, eating well and having courageous conversations, about what’s really going on their lives.
And also keep an eye on withdrawals that come from relationship and financial problems, drug and alcohol excess and significant stress.
— Movember UK (@MovemberUK) September 12, 2018
Finally, Sean said:
We are all the same, we eat the same, drink and sleep the same. We all share the same emotions it’s just how we deal with the emotions that splits us apart, some people aren’t so good at it and some are.
We are in 2018 now, and I believe we should be the generation that tackles mental health.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found at Suicide.org.
Save a life. Take the free suicide prevention training provided by Zero Suicide Alliance today.
Study Shows One In 10 Brits Never Explore The Great Outdoors
For me, the great outdoors is the benchmark into adulthood. If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain. As a kid, I’d be sitting in the backseat of the car and my mum and/or dad would point outside and go: ‘Look at that view, isn’t it amazing!’ Then I would promptly look at …
For me, the great outdoors is the benchmark into adulthood.
If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain. As a kid, I’d be sitting in the backseat of the car and my mum and/or dad would point outside and go: ‘Look at that view, isn’t it amazing!’
Then I would promptly look at my sister and shrug, before laughing and calling them old.
That’s just the type of thing children do though, as shown in this video:
Whereas now, in my twenties, I find myself staring at those same views and appreciating them for what they are.
But now it has emerged that one in 10 Brits never explore the great outdoors.
New research revealed that most Britons spend the equivalent of less than one week a month exploring the outdoors, with more than one in 10 saying they never get out.
And one in five claim they only manage one or two outings.
So why is this?
Unpredictable British weather was cited as one of the main reasons for not visiting the countryside more often.
Now, that’s completely understandable in some respects when more often than not, it seems to be raining. And who wants to be caught in torrential downpour in the middle of nowhere!
Or maybe not… check this out:
But on the other hand, if you gear up with your brollies and waterproofs then I suppose it’s all part of the fun.
Travel distance and a fear of wild animals were also top of the list of reasons against exploring the great outdoors.
Also ranking highly was the ‘busy’ factor – with one in seven Brits saying they simply don’t have time to get out.
Nick Giles of Ordnance Survey Leisure, which commissioned the research ahead of the first National Get Outside Day (September 30), said:
Outdoor activity helps us all to live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more.
National Get Outside Day is a great way to raise the profile of physical activity in the outdoors and the role it plays in tackling inactivity across the nation.
By helping more people to get outside on Sunday 30th, it could be just the catalyst that’s needed to rekindle the nation’s love of the outdoors.
Worryingly though, more than one in five say they would rather sit inside, with the majority of Brits preferring to host family and friends at home or catch up on TV shows rather than taking a walk or going out cycling.
And there’s a concerning reason why.
Almost 30 per cent of Brits say they struggle to be without the internet or phone signal for more than an hour, emphasising just how much our generation relies on technology.
So in summary, we end up staying at home because we’re scared of getting wet, we’re scared of wild animals, we’re scared of getting lost and we’re scared of not having wifi.
What happened to living in the moment?
And for those of us who do visit the countryside, most people journey just two to three hours away from home, with almost one in 10 saying they don’t go further than an hour away.
TV personality Ben Fogle is also promoting National Get Outside Day, and is encouraging Brits to explore the countryside.
We want to get everyone moving and people should spend more time outside.
You’ll feel better for it.
When I’m outside I smile more, and it’s the one place that’s repeatedly proven to be good for both body and mind.
If you want to help reach the goal of getting 1 million people active outdoors, simply join in with a national or regional event near you or create your own adventure outside with family and friends!
Visit the OS website – os.uk/getoutside
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Passengers On Flight Left Bleeding Out Of Ears And Noses After Crew Forgot To Set Air Pressure
Passengers aboard a flight to from Mumbai to Jaupur were left bleeding from their eyes and noses after cockpit crew forgot to turn on the cabin pressure system.
Passengers aboard a Jet Airways flight to from Mumbai to Jaupur were left bleeding from their eyes and noses after cockpit crew forgot to turn on the cabin pressure system.
Frightening footage shows people travelling on the Boeing 737 aircraft wearing oxygen masks. Over thirty passengers are thought to have suffered bleeding from ears and noses, while others reported getting migraines.
As a result of the mistake, the Boeing 367 was forced to return to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport shortly after it took off. The incident occured on the morning of Thursday, September 20.
According to the Indian airline, Flight 9W 697 was able to land safely at approximately 6.15 am, with passengers escorted to the terminal.
Once the plane landed, Jet Airways reportedly arranged for alternative flights for passengers left stranded while first aid was given to those in need of treatment. It has been reported some people have been left hospitalised following the incident.
According to the Hindustan Times, 39-year-old passenger Prashant Sharma has spoken of the panic on the plane, which began around five to ten minutes into the journey:
I was sitting on an aisle seat when suddenly air pressure in the cabin dropped and oxygen masks came down.
I saw a passenger sitting next to me bleeding from nose. Several others complained of extreme pain in their ears.
Another passenger said:
Oxygen masks came out but no one gave us warning or instructions. They announced after 15 minutes that we’re landing but didn’t even tell where. It was very scary.
@jetairways Flight 9W 697 made an emergency landing back in Mumbai. Airplane lost pressure immediately after taking off…scores of passengers including me bleeding from nose….no staff to help…no announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask.passengersafety completelyignored pic.twitter.com/vO9O95aMCP
— Satish Nair (@satishnairk) September 20, 2018
Some passengers shared images of the scene through social media, detailing their shocking experience.
One furious passenger tweeted:
The plane had to make an emergency landing. The cabin crew was unprofessional while ground staff were inept. No reps or guides.
An angered parent tweeted:
Due to negligence of cabin crew of #jetairways. my 4 year son suffered bleeding from nose.
Another passenger commented:
‘Stupidity of highest level. When you HV one job to do at best @jetairways ? Passengers bleed profusely from nose, ear as #JetAirways crew forgot to put on air pressure switch which maintains the cabin pressure. Passengers hospitalised’.
Hi @jetairways Mumbai. Your flight number 9W069WK to Jaipur this morning took off and then returned due to inability to maintain cabin pressure. Don't you think announcements and status updates would help? Terribly shoddy!
— Havovi (@havoviw) September 20, 2018
Jet Airways has since made the following official statement:
The B737 aircraft, with 166 guests and 5 crew landed normally in Mumbai. All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal. First aid was administered to few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose etc.
The flight’s cockpit crew has been taken off scheduled duties pending investigation. The airline is making alternative flight arrangements for guests on this flight.
Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests.
Please refer to our official statement: pic.twitter.com/LyxH1IhC6P
— Jet Airways (@jetairways) September 20, 2018
Jet Airways is reportedly now cooperating fully with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), with cabin crew members being taken off duty while the investigation is underway.
Planes travel at an high altitude where both the air pressure and oxygen supply is much lower than we are used to. Low pressure air is thin and dry, which can result in bleeding from the nose.
Airplane crew members therefore must simulate a lower altitude using an air pressure system.
When a plane soars to a high altitude, the cabin is pressurised, and is gradually de-pressurized during the descent process.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via firstname.lastname@example.org
Lymphoma Survivor’s Frightening Warning ‘Not to Make Same Mistakes He Did’
A man has opened up online about his experience battling lymphoma in the hope he encourages others to visit the doctors as soon as they spot a warning sign. 33-year-old Jake McCarty from California, America, was diagnosed at the end of last year with Hodgkins Lymphoma, an uncommon form of cancer which develops in the …
A man has opened up online about his experience battling lymphoma in the hope he encourages others to visit the doctors as soon as they spot a warning sign.
33-year-old Jake McCarty from California, America, was diagnosed at the end of last year with Hodgkins Lymphoma, an uncommon form of cancer which develops in the lymphatic system, an important part of the immune system.
As Jake exclusively told UNILAD though, his story with the disease started a decade ago when he was in his mid-20’s.
For about 10 years Jake had a swelling in his neck which doctors diagnosed as mononucleosis, better known as ‘mono’.
During his last visit to the doctor to make sure the mono had gone, Jake was told to get a biopsy done but didn’t. He justified the decision by convincing himself he ‘felt fine’.
As the swelling increased in the left side of his neck another lump developed, and in September 2017 Jake started experiencing excruciating headaches.
At this point alarm bells began ringing as Jake had experienced these headaches a year prior and was concerned they had returned.
Admitting he ‘would do anything to avoid going to a doctor’, Jake just tried to quell the pain the best he could but soon felt ‘hopeless’ as it became increasingly severe.
Eventually Jake went to the doctor as he saw how worried his then-fiancée was about his health.
He explained to UNILAD:
Soon it was November and the headaches were only getting worse. I’ve always had a high threshold for pain but during this month I was waking up in tears and sobbing in my fiancee’s arms.
While whatever was going on with my health was terrifying, nothing hurt more than the worry that was in her face.
We had been going through several issues in that past year but she was able to put all of that aside to be the most kind and caring that anyone had ever been for me.
Normally I would’ve felt around feeling sorry for myself, but I wanted to stay strong for us. I didn’t want to worry her any more than I already was.
Various doctors informed Jake he was suffering from cluster headaches but when he could no longer keep food down, he returned and a biopsy was scheduled.
In fact, the doctor who recommended a biopsy was shocked it hadn’t been recommended before.
While Jake was told ‘it looks like it could be lymphoma’, he remained unprepared for the potential diagnosis not realising the gravity of the situation.
He explained why:
I was so used to these visits ending with no answer.
The nurse came in to discharge me after I had stewed in my thoughts for 10 minutes and I finally broke down and asked her ‘is it fatal?’
She caught me off guard by embracing me and telling me ‘well sweetheart, that’s what we’re going to find out.’
I told my dad what was said, downplaying everything of course, because I don’t think I was ready to accept it.
I didn’t want to tell my fiancée. I didn’t want to tell my parents. I didn’t want the extra attention. All I wanted to do was get rid of those f*cking headaches.
When Jake received his diagnosis, he realised he was ‘extremely fortunate’ as Hodgkins Lymphoma has a higher survival rate than Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
While this gave Jake some ‘much needed optimism’, he also felt slightly ‘guilty’ as he ‘wasn’t appreciating life enough’.
Thankfully for Jake, his lymphoma didn’t go further than his collarbone, although it had taken over nearly the entire left side of his neck.
Jake faced six rounds of chemotherapy with each one lasting around five-to-six hours.
He admits the knowledge chemotherapy was working helped him cope with the side effects:
The effects that I experienced were severe night sweats and some nausea. During treatment itself, everything just seemed to slow down.
Sometimes the most difficult part of treatment was boredom, and finding ways to prevent that boredom. I love to read, but sometimes I was too restless to focus on an entire page.
I like to think that I handled it all well, but I also just felt like a burden.
But I was feeling more energetic and the headache was gone, I will never feel relief like that again in my life. It made going to treatments much easier.
As time went on, the chemicals were accumulating in my system and things were getting more difficult. Luckily I had a healthy appetite, including some bizarre cravings.
The steroids they were giving me on top of the chemo was apparently going to give me side effects similar to a pregnancy. I put on about 40 pounds, which I’m already close to shedding off.
Soon enough the swelling in Jake’s neck also disappeared leaving him ‘feeling like a different person’.
While Jake admits his relationship with his fiancée dissolved at the end of his battle due to other problems, the experience brought him close to his parents who were previously ‘somewhat distant’.
Jake is now in remission and has been for the past couple of months.
Although he still suffers from fatigue and night sweats every now and again, he is remaining positive with ‘each day better than the last’.
He told UNILAD it has changed his outlook on life:
I’m feeling healthier every day, I’ve tried to change my diet and I’ve found some way to be active nearly every day.
It feels good to know that I get to jump right back into life, with a second chance to make as much as I can out of it. I do sometimes fall back into old habits or start feeling cynical, but I’ve managed to keep these moments brief.
I don’t want to disappoint myself and and I don’t want to disappoint friends whose families might not have been so lucky.
Jake shared his story on Reddit wanting to encourage others not to make the same mistakes he did and ensure they both go to and listen to their doctors.
He was very keen to emphasise this point concluding:
After years of avoiding the doctor, visits will be a regular thing now. I go back in six months to make sure that everything is still gone and continue to do so for a while after that.
I won’t stop telling my friends to go to the doctor, even if you feel like something is the tiniest bit off. It’s amazing how resilient we can be when faced with illness, but everyone has a breaking point.
To find out more about lymphoma, you can visit Lymphoma Action’s website. To speak to someone, you can call their helpline on 0808 808 5555.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via email@example.com. To license this article contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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