New findings from Childline have found that boys are six times less likely to seek support than girls for suicidal feelings. NSPCC ran 1934 counselling sessions with boys between 2015/6, 10,000 less than with girls, despite national statistics claiming that the suicide rate for boys between 10-19 is more than double with girls.
The findings also reveal that in 20% of counselling sessions where boys mentioned if they had confided in anyone else, they said it was the first time they had spoken to anybody about their suicidal thoughts or feelings.
A new campaign Tough to Talk led by the charity encourages young men to confront and seek help for their suicidal thoughts before they reach a point of crisis.
Wayne Rooney, Ambassador for NSPCC, is supporting the campaign, recently explain that the understand the stigma attached to young men showing emotion and talking about their feelings from growing up in an sports environment: “It can be seen as a weakness but the opposite is true and it takes great strength to open up and reach out for help.”
The video supporting the campaign, which seems comical at first, explores “things guys don’t talk about”, from distasteful bathroom habits, drinking milk from the carton and, on a more serious note, openly come forward about mental health issues.
CEO of NSPCC Peter Wanless said: “Children struggling with suicidal feelings may feel alone with nobody to talk to and nowhere to turn for help. For boys in particular it can be harder to ask for help due to a reluctance to talk about their feelings, but this could be stopping boys from accessing support when they most need it.”
“We hope that by putting the spotlight on male suicide we can help boys see that they are not alone,” he continues. “If they can’t talk to friends or parents then Childline is here to listen to them, whenever they need us.”