>>Danny Sculthorpe: I think men are reluctant
to speak about how they’re feeling because of the stigma that’s attached to mental
health, you know? Us men are supposed to be the man of the house, you know? You’re the
breadwinner, you’ve got to have that stiff upper lip where you can’t show emotions
and that’s’ going to make feelings bottle up and it’s like a snowball effect. One
problem can lead to another and then another and before you know it, you could be in a
world of turmoil. Talking about my mental health, it turned my life around. You know,
I kept it hidden for a good long time, and I was very close to taking my own life. But,
through talking to my wife and my mum and dad, it just felt like a massive weight had
been lifted off my shoulders and it made a massive difference. I knew that I had talk
about feelings; I knew that I had to go to the doctors and I knew that I had to seek
help. I’ve just got new ways of dealing with things and just sharing problems can
half them and that’s exactly what it did. It’s just that culture where you’re not
allowed to cry. It’s just that culture that just needs breaking down. I think it’s the
stigma around mental health that’s killing men. The more men talk about it, understand
about it, read about it; the more lives will be saved.
The tips I would give someone when talking about mental health are: if you see a difference
in someone, you know, their personality’s changed, they’re not the same person and
you think they are struggling, just be open with them. Say you’ve noticed a difference
in them. Tell them. Just ask the question, but follow up on that question. Just spend
a lot of time with them, you know? Take them out for a coffee, take them to the gym, do
some training. I think physical health and mental health work hand-in-hand
with each other and the more physical activity you can do, the better you mental health will
be.

Former rugby player Danny Sculthorpe on why men need to talk about their mental health
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