Today I watched the BBC documentary in which Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, uncovers the truth behind his fathers suicide and learns the shocking truth about men and mental health along the way.
Professor Green tells us about how his mother left when he was 1 and his father was in and out of his life, leaving his Nanny Pat to raise him. After a turbulent relationship with his father and at the age of 18 loosing contact with him he felt a lot of anger towards his Dad, having previously idolised him. fast forward 7 years and he tried to reach out to his father, however the talks ended in an argument and with the last word Stephen saying to his dad being ‘I hate you’.
This has now lead Stephen to look back into his fathers life to see what drove him to suicide and look at the help that is available for people suffering with suicidal thoughts.
As we have previously reported, suicide is the biggest killer of men between the ages of 29 and 49. With men accounting for 78% of suicides in 2013 with nearly 5000 deaths a year.
Jane Powell, chief executive of Calm, hopes the documentary will kick-start a wider debate on men’s mental health.
“I think it’s a brilliant film but I would badly like it to be the start of a discussion about how life is for men. We have to give permission for men to say, ‘I don’t know how to go on’, and that not being a criticism of their gender because at the moment it is. For a guy to say ‘I can’t cope’ is to say ‘I’m not a man’ and I think that’s why it’s taken decades for the Department of Health and the media to tackle this.” Manderson challenges that stereotype, she adds. “[He] comes across as being so tough. When guys do tackle things like that, they don’t come across as being weak at all.”
A quite that stuck with me in the documentary and that I think is a good point to focus on is:
It’s the stigma that surrounds it that makes it all the tougher to deal with
It is time to end the stigma, time and time again it is talked about and now I think it is the time that we need to really work hard to get people talking and really decrease the number of suicides that are happening.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is on 1 800 273 8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14
You can watch the documentary on BBC iPlayer