The Movember movement is run by a charity that’s changing the face of men’s health, focusing on mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. Here at P-UK staff have been getting involved by growing, styling, and rocking moustaches to raise money to support this amazing charity, while raising awareness for issues relating to men’s health.

Donations to Movember have funded over 1,250 men’s health projects worldwide since 2003, aiming to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives. To learn more or donate, visit: Movember.

I should note: I’m writing as a non-clinical employee of the HLP Group, to share my personal experience. I’m also writing from a female perspective on male suicide; the most common cause of death for men under 50 in the UK [1].

Despite this, for anyone experiencing pain and seeking a way out, I cannot stress enough that death is truly not the answer. If you feel misunderstood in a world that’s still learning how to better approach men’s mental health, please help us learn and understand, so we can help you and others in return. For better understanding, we need more conversation, to share experiences, to learn from them. It’s difficult, but please communicate your feelings. Not ready to speak to someone you know? Talk to Samaritans, a confidential support service: Don’t go through this alone.

My experience

I know multiple men who have taken their own lives – it’s shocking. Knowing these amazing individuals’ lives have been cut short, makes you wish you could have helped – but it’s too late.

A mutual friend, who I didn’t get the pleasure of knowing long enough, took his life at 19. He was great to be around, and being aware of the positive impact he had on those around him, it was hard to understand that he felt entirely differently in private. People had heard him talk about how tough life was, but never thought these problems would lead to suicide. When he went missing, he was put on a high-risk list because people knew he was struggling. He was found too late.

Following this, my brother disclosed that he had been stood on a bridge contemplating taking his life. I cried immediately. He mentioned it so casually, just like when he would say, “I’d rather die than do this job”, or similar off-hand comments. My family and I never really took him seriously. My brother had to really spell it out, for me to realise he was being serious. I felt guilty for not supporting him, how I should have and would have if I’d heard the truth in what he said in the first place. My thoughts went out to the family of the 19-year-old, how they must have heard similar things, without the second chance. I’m so thankful my brother didn’t act on those feelings – losing him would have been heart-breaking. It was as though he didn’t realise how much he is loved and how important his existence is.

Thoughts on what we can do

People often say men don’t talk about their feelings. From my experience, generally, it’s what they do about their feelings that’s shocking. Often, the men I know talk about their struggles without getting “too emotional”. Meanwhile with women I know, we both talk about and display our feelings, by crying for example, giving us the attention we need. I think we all need to learn more about how men present their emotions.

It seems for a man to be taken seriously they have to get to breaking point. They may speak about their feelings, but not showing those feelings in a recognisable way means they just aren’t heard.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and I believe it won’t be like this forever. There are more conversations being had about men’s mental health – thanks to movements like Movember. We need to give men the attention they deserve for the way they’re feeling. Take men seriously when they talk about their feelings – talking is tough enough, so if you’re hearing about them, take it seriously. We should never take comments about wanting to take one’s life as an extreme that couldn’t possibly be true, because the reality is it happens. To see this, just look at the statistics on suicide here: Suicide – Mental Health UK (

I’m sure there are individuals that find it difficult to speak about what is going on inside because of societal expectations, which can lead to individuals bottling up emotions – until it gets too much. But, as a society, we know about this, so we need to get better at understanding how men show their emotions, look for discrete signs, dig deeper. If you think someone is depressed and they’re not speaking about it, they may be hoping for someone to reach out. Be that person. The best thing you can do if someone is feeling suicidal is talk about it, listen, and direct them to help. The Zero Suicide Alliance has great information on how to support suicidal individuals.

If you’re suicidal

Please, please, please reach out to someone. You might have to spell it out, for people to understand what you’re going through, like my brother had to for me. People around you may not understand, but there are others, and organisations, out there who do.  You deserve support and help to get you out of this situation.

If you’d like to learn more about men’s mental health, see: It’s got to be more MANLY to talk about Mental Health – Psychiatry-UK. Suicide is not the answer, perhaps right now it doesn’t seem there’s another option, but it’s there. Help is available, whether it’s support services, your doctor, family, friends – it’s okay to ask for help. As this song says, we all need somebody to lean on.



  1. NHS England » Tackling the root causes of suicide