If you didn’t know this week is Mental Health Awareness Week! So this week on Iya – Louisa’s I will be posting every day something to do with Mental Health across my social media so keep on eye out on here, Twitter, Instagram and my Facebook page!
We are kicking it off with a continuation of the campaign, with Our Josh (as my Nan would call him). Josh is my cousin and has been featured throughout my blog (yep that’s where you know him from). Josh and I have a bond, obviously we’re family! But also through Mental Illness. He is one of the few people I can sit and chat with about my mental health.
Josh is a people person. When it comes to Josh, no matter how much you try its kinda hard to hate him. He is always the entertainer. No matter where he is he will be the one in the centre who you will be laughing with, drink in his hand. You’ll be listening to him tell crazy stories, flirting, getting you to quit your job and live your dream, convincing you to get that tattoo, cheering you up, getting you drunk, bonding with your child and/or dog. Yep, that is how you’d describe Josh.
However inside Josh isn’t necessarily all of those things. Thats not at all how he see’s himself. Josh feels pressure, he feels low, he feels anxious, he has low self-esteem and he feels like he has to be “Our Josh” all the time because if he’s not he’s letting people down. Similarly Josh and I both deal with mental health in the same way when it comes to being around people, and that is to put on a face and be at the centre where you have more control of how people see you.
Big boys don’t cry.
Depression in men still has such a massive stigma attached to it as having such emotions is seen as unattractive, weak, feminine and just not man thing to do. This is causing so much pain and damage to men in our society. Approximately the male suicide rate is 3x higher than the women’s in the UK and 5x higher In Ireland and considering the female suicide rate in the UK is at its highest in a decade and has risen by 3.8% that is a lot. In 2015 there was 6,639 reported people who died from suicide in the UK & ROI. 1,642 of those were Female and a massive 6,639 were male including one of my closest friends.
What Josh has to say…
How we feel on the inside always affects our outward appearance – whether it’s through self-care, preservation or facial expression. I’ve not had the same appearance for longer that 3 months at a time and a constant internal battle over anxiety, clinically diagnosed depression and mood swings have all contributed to this. It’s only recently, through help from those close to me, that I’ve been able to focus on overcoming this and, whilst I still struggle a lot with feeling overwhelmed or anxious, taking pride in my appearance has most certainly proved beneficial. I’d like to thank Iya for the opportunity to be involved in such a wonderful project with great people and a strong message.
This is where the stigma needs to end. And with amazing and brave people like Josh speaking out hopefully we will live in an era where men feel comfortable to talk about mental health without feeling like an ounce of their masculinity is being taken away.
Josh is hilarious, thoughtful, caring, hardworking, intelligent, fun, talented and Josh is Pretty! You Know, for any kind of guy.
Don’t forget to check out our last campaign post; You Are Pretty! You Know, For A Flat Chested Girl.
You can hit Josh up on insta; @Joshuasilk.