Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson has spoken openly about the death of his father, who took his own life when Stephen was 24 years old. He speaks of how he went through the entire spectrum of emotions when he found out, and how it is natural to feel angry, upset, confused and lonely all in the same day.
Manderson continues; it’s unrealistic to think that we will be happy all of the time, we will have ups and downs, but it is getting through the downs that many young men cannot do. It important that we reach out to people who are considering suicide, and it is important that people have an avenue to turn when they feel suicidal. These avenues need to be overt and explicit, and as a society we need to promote the services and institutions that are in place for people to turn to when they do feel down.
He goes on to discuss how he believes the national curriculum can be a key tool in the fight to break down the taboo and stigma around suicide. If children grow up feeling able to talk openly and freely about mental health and about their feelings it can only be positive. We need to change the status-quo. The status-quo insists that men shouldn’t talk about their feelings, the status-quo encourages men to isolate their problems rather than dealing with them. Their needs to be a shift. What is ‘strong’ about not admitting when you need help? It is strong to break the stigma, it is strong to challenge societal pressures, to encourage dialogue, to encourage people that it is okay to ask for help. Doing so will not only feel good, it will save lives.