Elise Smith: Best Six Images


Men’s Mental Health

For the first time in history, men are more likely to kill themselves than each other. In 2012, about 56 million people died throughout the world. Of those, 120,000 were killed in war, 500,000 in crime. Whereas 800,000 committed suicide, more than all war and crime combined! (Homo Deus, A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari, 2016). The title of my FMP is Men’s Mental Health. I aimed to focus on the stigma that is still around, attempting to explore the important issues relating to men being taught to never show emotions because it’s “unmanly”. I hope to raise awareness and encourage a debate around changing this problem but also looking further into the idea of constantly comparing women’s mental health against men’s, with phrases such as “stop crying like a girl”, “you hit like a girl”, “man up” and so many more. This behaviour and conditioning encourages only women and young girls to be able to ‘wear their hearts on their sleeves’, through being taught it’s okay to show emotion and it’s okay to not be okay. Why can’t it be the same for men and young boys growing up? It should be equal. 1 in 4 men are affected by mental health problems or illnesses and male suicides have consistently accounted for approximately three quarters of all suicides. I feel that the media and in particular social media is a very toxic place at the moment and it makes young people of today view themselves and their bodies in a negative way – constantly comparing themselves – which can then go onto create all sorts of mental health problems including anxiety and depression.