Rhondda AM Leanne Wood is backing a new campaign encouraging men to talk about their mental health.
Talking Is A Lifeline is being launched tomorrow by the Time to Change Wales campaign to tackle the stigma many men feel about opening up about their feelings.
According to figures from the charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably, only 55% of men who reported feeling very depressed said they talked to someone about it.
Last year the rate of suicide among men in Wales was described by a committee of the National Assembly for Wales as a “national emergency.” In 2017, 360 people took their lives in Wales – the highest figure on record since 1981 – and 278 of those were men.
“For many reasons, many men are often reluctant to talk about their feelings,” said Ms Wood. “There can be pressure to be macho and not talk about feeling low or unhappy. Men are expected to ‘put a brave face on.’
“These social barriers preventing men from opening up need to be challenged because they are costing lives on a weekly basis in Wales.
“I would encourage anyone with concerns about a friend or loved one to begin a conversation with them; lend a sympathetic ear and ask if they are alright. This campaign is about making sure men do not suffer in silence.”
Join the conversation with #TalkingIsALifeline or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.