This blog post is part of a series of blogs and features the personal stories of real people’s
experiences with mental health problems. These stories will be published as part of Men’s Health Week 2012. If you wish to share your story you can get in touch with a member of the See Change campaign team at
Feel free to post your reactions or comments at the end of this post.
Everybody goes through tough times and there’s nothing wrong with that. This was a lesson I was lucky enough to learn from a young age and when I encountered problems in college it meant that feeling weak for seeking help was one less thing that I had to worry about. That’s because my dad has depression. It’s a simple sentence that doesn’t do justice to the affect that that had on me and my family, but watching him struggle, seek help and get better profoundly shaped who I am as a man today.
Growing up is, unanimously, tough, being a man with mental health problems Ireland, or seeking help in certain groups when you are male is one of the toughest things I can imagine. You see talking about your problems is something we learn and unless you have an example to follow or a peer group you can practice with chances are you won’t. I was lucky to have an example to follow when I had my own problems.
For most men this isn’t the case and the statistics around men’s mental health demonstrate that. Someone has to do something. Some of that responsibility falls squarely on us as men. Let’s stop being afraid to talk about what we feel and ask for help, and lets stop being embarassed to give it. Be it with your friends, your family or even a stranger, you can be an example that it’s okay to talk. To put it simply; mental health is everyones concern and being concerned about it, either your own or someone elses makes you no less of a man.
This year, Men’s Health Week (MHW) will run from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th June 2012.
See Change understands that there is a complex multiplicity of perspectives on mental health problems and the experience of being unwell. See Change encourages the publication of material that promotes understanding of mental health problems, the experience of being unwell, and recovery. The opinions expressed by contributors are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of See Change, funders, or partner organisations.