Men only event at the Museum

Boy’s Don’t Cry Event, 1st/8th October 2016

Men's labels

I’ve hosted a men only event, split over two dates in the Museum. Each event was 2 hours… where we talked, questioned, exchanged experiences, debated and ate cake.

I want to say thank you to Paul and Viv, (two retired male psychiatric nurses who worked at Glenside) for sharing their experiences working in the hospital and providing us with an insight into what patients lives were like in the hospital.

I also want to thank the ten men who took part in the event. Here’s a selection quotes from event, in no particular order:

“how can anyone have time to contemplate with all the noise and distractions around us”

“Do you really believe there is someone in control!”

“People are susceptible”

“People go to doctors expecting an answer”

“Schools don’t teach the things we need to learn, like money”

“It would be useful to know what we are trying to do and to get out of this”

“I realised having two sons myself, I’ve become like my parents, telling them to go outside, play football, enjoy the sunshine… they come home, play games… they only talk to me, when there’s a problem with the computer”

“People are stupid”

“We are dealing with conflict, internally”

“It’s simple, turn it off!”

“How can you assume everyone is like that, you don’t know anything about me!”

“It’s complex”

“Life is simple really, we just make it complicated.”

“I’m feed up with seeing violence, blood and gore on tv, why do they have to constantly repeat it over and over… I’m complete desensitised to it, I can’t care anymore”

“There’s a reason we are made to feel incapable”

“I fully respect what you say, but…”

“You can choose to ignore TV!” “I have stopped watching TV, I watch YouTube and alternative media.”

“You can make your own choices”

“Nhs should use talking therapy” – “Nhs does use talking therapy”

“We’ve got to the end and haven’t talked about mental illness!”

Boys Don’t Cry?

….. it is still the case that the type of men we think die by suicide are the unwell, the disturbed, the unlucky; who stumble at life’s biggest hurdles and are too weak to get back up. Most of us like to think we’re made of sterner stuff. We don’t know that 75 per cent of people who take their own lives have never been diagnosed with a mental health problem, or that only five per cent of people who do suffer from depression go on to take their own lives.” extract from Britain’s Male Suicide Crisis by Sam Parker, published in Esquire UK, Dec 2015

…. a more effective approach, argues Seager, is to help men adapt and evolve in a way that broadens the definition of masculinity, so that facing emotional pain, for example, is seen as a sign of masculine strength.” extract from ONS suicide statistics: 10 ways we can stop men killing themselves by Glen Poole, published in The Telegraph, Feb 2016

… the stigma and taboo surrounding mental illness is still a huge problem, with a recent CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) survey finding that many men stay silent about their problems because they felt ashamed and didn’t want to talk about their feelings or make a fuss.” extract from Male suicide is a public health crisis… by Jack McKenna for The Independent, Nov 2015