As men, we are often brought up in a society of 'boys don't cry', 'suck it up' and 'be a man'.
This mentality has had a crippling effect on the male population, with suicide being the biggest killer in middle aged men.
So how can we stop this?
Part of the solution begins with creating a culture where men's feelings and emotions are as acceptable out in the open as everyone else's. Ensuring that spaces are created where men can feel like their conversations around their mental health is welcomed, encouraged but also stigma-free.
Ironically, telling someone that we are not feeling emotionally well or finding it hard to cope can be more difficult than any perceived 'manly' task. And that's where the #MakeItYourStrength campaign came from.
As humans we probably talk far more than we listen... and yet when it comes to men talking about some stuff that truly matters, why do we find the words so hard to say? How can we make it easier on ourselves?
Lancashire Mind and the #MakeItYourStrength campaign has created two reference cards which break down the components of an easy but effective mental health conversation; one for the speaker (the person who is experiencing negative thoughts, emotions and feelings) and one for the listener.
The front of the Speaker reference card
The reverse of the Speaker reference card
The front of the Listener reference card
The reverse of the Listener reference card
These reference cards are available for download here: