London is thought to be one of the most progressive cities in the world. But with the spotlight slowly turning onto men’s mental health, new studies are beginning to show that the UK’s capital remains outdated with its views on how to be a real man. Alarmingly it is opinions like these that have created a highly toxic stigma around men asking for help, which has led to a devastating increase in male depression, addiction, and inevitably suicide. This is why platforms such as Manual are vital for providing a safe space for men to address issues that they find taboo, embarrassing or upsetting.
Last week a white paper published by Real Macho revealed that almost 30% of male Londoners asked thought that real men don’t cry and 43% feel that men should always be the main financial provider. Both figures are considerably higher than anywhere else in the UK. Statics like this harks back to the harmful and defunct thinking that men shouldn’t show their emotions, a harrowing thought when suicide is now the leading cause of death in men under 45, with three out of four reported suicides in the UK men.
Manual Co-Founder George Pallis says: “The results show that Londoners are perpetuating the negative stigma that men should be stoic and constantly dependable, which is why platforms such as Manual are vital, offering support and education on men’s wellbeing. Outdated views such as, ‘real men don’t cry’ are incredibly damaging and destructive to men’s mental health. Emotion is not gendered, it is an organic reaction to a person’s surroundings and feelings, not ever a sign of weakness. If we continue to circulate such ideas, the already worrying issue of men’s mental health will reach crisis levels. At Manual we want men to take control of their health and happiness by helping guide them to the choices that work best for them.”