Alliance Youth Chair Stephen Martin today commended the Health Promotion Agency following their launch of a new campaign aimed at encouraging young men to recognise the importance of good mental health. He also urged the need for the Executive to resource support services adequately and targeted in such a way that those in trouble can avail of quality professional help when they need it.
Stephen Martin commented, “Perhaps it is a cultural attitude but us guys tend to bottle things up. Unfortunately many think it’s not the done thing for a young lad to confide in his friends, when things are beginning to get tough.
“Facts speak for themselves. Recent studies show that 72% of suicide victims are male with young men in and around my age, from 15 to 24 years old, are over three times more likely than a girl of the same age to commit suicide.
“There are families and communities across Northern Ireland that know only too well the tragic cost of what happens when mental health matters spiral into something much more terrifying. Talking your problems out is not a sign of weakness. You will not get mocked. People will not think any less of you by opening up. By getting these things off your chest, you’ll end up lifting what previously seemed a huge burden. We need a change in lad culture in Northern Ireland – people need to know that it’s good to talk!”