Mental health issues can be the hardest to talk about. It’s not easy for people who struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders to open up about what they’re going through and because of that, they often don’t open up at all. No thanks to toxic masculinity, men in particular often feel like they can’t talk to people about what they’re feeling. This causes them to feel lost and confused. Some of them suffer so much that they are led down the dangerous spiral that ends in suicide but Craig Spillane wants to change that.
With the help of his friend Kian Feiza-Anaraki, Spillane founded the Facebook group Men Unite, which invites men to open up without fear of being judged. Within a month of the group’s launching, Men Unite had almost 4,000 male members. Guys will post about their problems or get stuff off their chest and other members are there to offer advice or an understanding ear.
“I just came up with the idea one day while I was sat on the toilet – I’ve got a couple of close pals that had confided in me that they felt suicidal and one in particular really hit home, because I could see that he was a like a younger version of me. I was in his position 20 years ago – I had a cocaine addiction, I was lying to my missus about money… and he was doing the same,” Spillane told LADbible.
He realized that guys tend to get themselves into these unsavory positions because they won’t talk about their feelings. After more and more people started joining Men Unite, he knew he was on to something. Soon, the guys of the group have planned outings to play football, go fishing, go on runs, and do other stuff together. Not only do these guys have a community to talk about their feelings, but they also have new mates to help them along the way.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.