In recent years, we've made huge waves in normalising mental health issues. But theres one thing that still remains something of a 'taboo': male mental health.
When you think of LADbible, you don’t necessarily think ‘mental health initiative’. Until now, this popular millennial-specific community is most well known for funny, digestible video content (think lots & LOTS of animal memes) – but in a recent collaborative study produced by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), it was found that over 40% of men had contemplated suicide in their lifetimes.
While this number is shockingly high, most men hadn’t reached out to others to seek help. Why? Not because they didn’t want to, or didn’t feel like they could – but because they didn’t want to break the façade of being ‘manly’.
It was the gravity of this revelation which inspired LADbible to launch their campaign 'U OK M8?', which tackles male mental health through a variety of different mediums.
LADbible seeks to continue to collect and curate data in order to gage the full spectrum of mental health among males, and to raise awareness on these issues.
As part of U OK M8?, in a bid to further de-stigmatise conversations about mental health issues, LADbible launched ‘Everyday Hereos’ – a series of short documentaries and written pieces showcasing the real life stories of men who have suffered from mental health issues. The issues encompass everything from anxiety, to anorexia, to PTSD, and was launched with a documentary featuring Olympic British Gymnast Louis Smith, discussing his journey with depression.
It's important for young men to see that whether you're a 'normal guy' or a celebrity - absolutely no one is immune from mental health problems.
The best thing about U OK M8? is that it encourages something utterly vital when it comes to mental health: conversation. We need to delve deeper into the data and into masculinity itself to discover why the preservation of masculinity can claim so many lives, and the best way to do that is by getting men talking. By celebrating the brave men who come forward with their experiences, it will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
LADbible is actively tackling a culture of silence that has been cultivated over hundreds of years of gender stereotyping.
Mental health is one of the most defining issues of our time, so it’s a step in the right direction to have a platform like LADbible giving it the attention it deserves. Having a safe, accessible community within which people can share their stories gives young men the permission and validation to express themselves, even for feelings which may seem minor or insignificant – like isolation, loneliness or stress.
Communities and initiatives such as this one mean we can intercept men who are experiencing these issues before it gets to crisis point. We say, bravo! And may it birth a new era of mental health visibility among you men.