I’ve lost a close friend of the family to suicide and more recently a friends brother took their life unexpectedly. This short film is to help create awareness about men’s suicide and mental health. I want to show how men have to deal with the expectations of society and how there’s a dangerous catch twenty-two on young boys growing up; feeling they can’t speak out about their emotions without looking weak because of this closed off generation. When they become a man, they are too frighten to speak out to friends or family without diluting their ‘man hood’ for fear of how they will be judged. So these problems sadly just escalate until they eventually crack under the pressure.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – under 35 in the UK and Ireland. In 2015, 1,659 young people took their own lives. That equates to over four per day. Each week 84 men in the UK take their own lives; so about 1 every 2 hours. For Project 84, CALM commissioned the below 84 statues, on London’s Southbank; each figure created via collaboration between artist and friends/family of deceased males.
Hopefully my film can also help to start a discussion on this pretty unknown phenomenon and add to the pressure for the government to task a minister with responsibility for suicide prevention and bereavement support; there’s a petition on the website.