The biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide. Think about that. Out of all the illnesses, diseases, and mere accidents that could kill men under 45, suicide remains as the biggest.
Another shocking statistic is that men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
There are various speculations as to of why this is the case, however many are claiming that men’s mental health is simply just not being talked about enough – but now a viral campaign is doing all it can to change this using the hashtag #itsokaytotalk, reports indy100.
— Mike Haley (@mikehaley_1) August 8, 2016
Under the hashtag, men post a picture of themselves doing an ‘okay’ sign while tagging five other people they wish to do the same – all in an attempt to get men to speak out about their mental health instead of keeping it bottled up inside with sealed lips; until it’s too late.
— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) August 5, 2016
— James Batchelor (@13_batch) August 4, 2016
— Tom Johnstone (@TomJohnstone01) August 3, 2016
Along with the ‘okay’ selfie, you’re supposed to post a note which reads:
The single biggest killer of men aged fewer than 45 is suicide! In 2014, 4623 men took their own life. That’s 12 men every day, one man every two hours. 41 per cent of men who contemplated suicide felt they couldn’t talk about their feelings. One 20 per cent of the UK know that suicide is the most likely cause of death for men under 45. Let’s show men all across the world that #ITSOKAYTOTALK.
— Paul Smith Jnr (@PaulSmithJnr) August 4, 2016
The man who started the campaign is Irish international rugby league player, Luke Ambler, from Halifax, England.
— Luke Ambler (@Ambler09) July 31, 2016
— Halifax RLFC (@Halifax_RLFC) August 1, 2016
Luke started the trend after his brother, Andy, tragically took his own life back in April. Luke said that ‘it was completely out of the blue’ and left him feeling like he needed to do something. So he set up Andys Man Club, where men could go to talk, before going onto begin the #itsokaytotalk hashtag.
According to their Facebook page, Andys Man Club is ‘for any man. Whether you’ve been through a storm or are in a storm, or had no troubles ever, the group is for you.
And their aims are simply phenomenal:
Our overall aim is to halve the number of suicides in men Under 45. I know that’s a massive task, but it’s something to strive for. Even if we only manage a quarter – we will have done something amazing.
Let’s all do everything we can to make sure that Andys Man Club achieves their goals by doing the #itsokaytotalk trend.
— Atlas of the Future (@AtlasFuture) August 8, 2016
If you’re ever feeling down The CALMzone offers amazing support to anyone when things get tough.
The helpline and web chat service are open 5pm to midnight, every day:
NATIONWIDE: 0800 58 58 58
LONDON: 0808 802 58
Alternatively, you can contact Samaritans on free phone number – 116 123.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.