5,821 suicides were recorded in 2017 within the UK and a staggering 75% of these were men. That’s 4,366 of our young guys who, sadly, felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Suicide is the largest cause of death in men under 50. The reasons are complex, and should not be over generalised but a key contributor is societal expectations and our (outdated) understanding of masculinity.
Typically, being a man and being male is associated with strength, dominance and control. The traditional male figure is expected to work, gain status and earn money – bring home the bacon. Where they fall short of this, men are left feeling purposeless, with low self worth and a lack of identity. The reliance on this concept of what it means to be a “man” is negatively impacting men’s health across the World. In Poland, the rate of suicide in men has increased 50% since 2013.
This previously established expectation of men is a fiction, unrelatable and unrepresentative. The men of today aren’t readily accepting this, or working to uphold it, proving how far removed from modern society this presumption and stigma is. It serves no purpose other than to remind people of what they are not.
The mental health of our men & women is a social responsibility, it’s on all of us. Talking about personal experiences is a vital step in normalising discussions around our feelings and emotions. It’s when men feel they are unable to speak openly about their emotions that the symptoms of mental health go unnoticed and, untreated.
We are all individuals and should be championed for our differences. Humen is aiming to build a movement to improve men’s mental health by creating a safe space to talk, share, and reestablish human connection. Valuing inner health as much as outer and providing a channel for every voice to be heard.
We’ve collaborated with artist Marshal Darling to create a design that will enable us to build further awareness and support men’s mental health. From each sale of the product below, 25% of the profits will be donated to Humen, an organisation that is working to create a national movement, to encourage us to talk freely about our emotions and our experiences as men.