'No One Should Ever Suffer In Silence' – Alliance

No one should ever suffer in silence when things in life get difficult, Alliance Omagh Councillor Stephen Donnelly, marking International Men's Day (19 November).

The theme for this year's day of awareness around the issues impacting men and boys was "Zero Male Suicide."

Cllr Donnelly has said: "The last few years have brought a lot of challenges and difficult times for so many of us, but it's often the case that particular struggles faced by men and boys can be overlooked.

"In 2021 alone, 74% of those who died by suicide in Northern Ireland were men, and in every year since 2001, men have represented more than 70 per cent of suicide deaths here.

"These are truly shocking, heartbreaking statistics, and paint an incredibly stark picture of how much more needs to be done in the way of championing men's mental health. Whether that be by consistently challenging toxic masculinity and the ideals it perpetuates in our society, encouraging young men and boys especially to reach out and talk about how they're feeling, or advocating for better access to support services when they're needed.

"Today is about speaking up. I would implore anyone with concerns, anxieties, or worrying thoughts but who may feel they need to bottle them up to please talk to somebody. Whether that be a family member, a friend, or if that may be too much, a support organisation such as Lifeline or Samaritans. Minding Your Head also has a wealth of resources on their website for those in need of help.

"No one should have to suffer in silence, and together we can make a positive impact on the experiences of men and boys in Northern Ireland."

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