So this year I’ll be taking part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s ride* for prostate cancer and men’s mental health.
1 in 4 men die from suicide. 510,000 men die every year. Most of us know somebody who is already a victim, and if you don’t? Then you’re very lucky for the time being.
I may seem blunt on this post, but this is a blunt problem. Unfortunately men, from the cot to the coffin, have always been taught to suppress our emotions. “Man-up” often being the most used term to vilify any kind of emotional response that would seem in any way un-masculine. Unfortunately, the patriarchal society in which we live has conditioned us to see anything “feminine” or emotional as a weaknesses or a defect.
The thing is we don’t have to be this way. Just because our environment and upbringing has conditioned us to behave a certain way, it doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to change it. Big change is created by small change. The more openly men start to talk about their problems and feelings, the more normal it will become.
Your fathers, brother, uncles, brothers and sons will all experience and partake in toxic masculinity at some point in their lives. It’s a self breeding problem that keeps itself present in our culture. Unfortunately it’s this fear of breaking away from societal norms that can suppress the want to ask for help and prevent a person from feeling suicide is their only way out.
Often when people are crying out for help, the support simply isn’t there. This is what the Distinguished Gentlemans Ride aims to change. They have set their goal to reduce suicide rates by supporting charities that really make a difference!
If you want to supper the ride, then please visit my donation page for the 2018 Cardiff ride which is on September 30th. Any amount you can donate will help!
*stats are taken from the official Distinguished Gentlemans Ride website