Roman Kemp has created a documentary alongside BBC called Our Silent Emergency. Roman’s great friend and producer Joe Lyons sadly took his own life last year which was what inspired Roman Kemp to create this documentary focused on men’s mental health.
There is a huge stigma surrounding this that men must be masculine and not talk about their feelings or their wellbeing. Throughout this documentary, Roman travelled the UK talking to his friends who knew Joe and other men who have been affected by mental health or suicide. It was highlighted that in 2019, out of those who took their own lives in England and Wales, three-quarters were men, this is the highest it has been since 1981.
A story that stood out to us was when Roman went to visit a group of friends in Belfast who sadly lost their friend Carl, two months into lockdown in 2020, who was only 15 years old. The most heart-breaking thing was that he was the class clown and was always smiling, highlighting you never know what is going on behind closed doors.
We have summarised some of the points made throughout this documentary and listed them below. There are also suicide helpline numbers at the bottom of the page. No one should go through mental illness alone.
Normalise speaking to your friends and family about your feelings
It is very important that if you aren’t feeling well mentally, you need to speak to someone, whether this is your friends or family. Make it a regular occurrence to check on your friends and see how they are feeling.
Check up on your friends: Use the Two-OK rule
During the COVID-19 lockdown, it has been extremely difficult and many people either live alone or don’t feel like they want to confide in anyone. Also, having so much time at home can really take a toll on your mental health and make you feel like you have nothing to look forward too. Ensure you check on your friends and ask them if they are okay. Within the documentary, Roman Kemp spoke about asking someone if they are okay twice which usually helps to spark up a lot of conversation.
If you or anyone you know has mental health issues or is feeling suicidal, please get in touch with the following helplines below.
Samaritans – 116 123
Papyrus HOPELINEUK – 0800 068 4141
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – 0800 58 58 58