To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 11th – 15thMay, a trio of women who call themselves the Self-Esteem Team have launched a campaign, #SwitchonTheLight, to encourage men to talk about their feelings.
24% of deaths among men aged 20-34 in the UK are suicides. The video is dedicated to 24-year-old James Mabbett, a close friend of the founder, whose life was lost to suicide earlier this year.
A number of male celebrities, including Stephen Fry and Professor Green, have shown their support by being involved in the YouTube video.
Founder of the Self-Esteem Team, Natasha Devon, said: “There is still a stigma around men admitting vulnerability. We have seen it in the course of our work with teenagers. All the research into young people and self-esteem focusses on girls because girls are more likely to avoid participating in activities because of low self-worth or mental health issues. Yet, if you think about it, that must mean that a lot of young men are just soldiering on regardless and swallowing their feelings and that comes with its own unique set of challenges, as evidenced by the number of men in the UK who reach the stage where they take their own life. We felt that if we could inspire men to open up and discuss their worries we could help to create a culture where it’s OK for men to ask for the help they need.
The team will visit sports clubs, army barracks and fire stations throughout the week to encourage men to talk about their emotions and share online using the hashtag #SwitchonTheLight.
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