Throughout evolution, social bonds have been essential to man’s survival but in a society where burnout, stress and depression are worldwide epidemics, affecting our offline lives face to face social interaction is crucial, especially for men.
Its time to get our fathers, sons, brothers and husbands openly expressing their emotions.
An initial investigation into the perceptions of masculinity in the millennial generation has lead to my final year module outcomes to analyse the current age of man and the pressures that men face at various stages of their lives. Identifying a wide range of threads from the mass communication sector to health and wellbeing have all contributed to my Final Major Project outcomes.
Within my Dissertation research, I examined the ideology of past masculinity norms and the pressure that can come with trying to live up to an outdated 'ideal form’ of masculinity. In an age of social media where our feeds are constantly flooded with male ripped cores and biceps, I looked to the role the media played within a modern world of hunkvertising and if males as the provider, protector and procreator where still characteristics that men aspired to.
Concluding that attempting to conform to an ideal form of masculinity can propel men to depression in the face of adversity Brotherhood was born.
As the growth of public concern surrounding men's mental health continues to rise we must encourage men to speak out as a sign of strength, not weakness
In 2014 76% of men accounted for suicide, with suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK (ONS, 2016). With that number rapidly rising politician Diane Abbott has dubbed this as a crisis in masculinity.
In-depth research and linking threads highlighted a burnout, stress and anxiety epidemic, among men. With anxiety and depression being the most common mental health disorders affecting British society today, depression can also now be recognised as a social issue as much as a health one. Identifying that social factors, such as money worries and job security can make males subject to feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression which heightens suicidal thoughts.
As increasingly more people live alone - 58% of men (ONS, 2014), and cities grow in size and change in character, individuals are finding it harder to build close connections with others who live in their area. The growth of online communities has led to less face to face contact.
Silence in depressed men is a killer and men’s mental health is a silent crisis affecting males all over the world. The stigma with men openly expressing emotions is a key factor in the high levels of male suicide within the UK. 1 in 8 men in the UK is currently suffering from a common mental health issue. These feelings are closely linked to feelings of social isolation and even though, feeling lonely isn’t in itself a mental health problem, the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health (Mind.org.uk, 2017).
Brotherhood was curated in response to the NHS’s 5 years mental health budget plan, The NHS encourages the expansion of peer support in communities and that care must be integrated – spanning people’s physical, mental and social need and need for offline interactions is vital to a human’s survival.