Three month campaign aims to get young men talking about depression with data collected past on to charities
A campaign aimed at reducing the number of men attempting suicide has been launched by a collection of charities and one of the internet’s most popular websites.
Samaritans, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), the Movember Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation have teamed up with TheLADbible to launch UOKM8? – a three-month campaign to raise awareness of and collect data about male mental health issues.
With suicide currently the biggest killer of British men under 45, the charities hope to be able to tap into the online publisher’s huge youth audience and get men to open up to each other as well as share their experiences.
TheLADbible, which is known for posting viral stories, has over 15 million followers on Facebook and its audience is predominantly men aged 16 to 30.
UOKM8? will see a number of stories, blogs and videos on mental health published including the Everyday Heroes series which is a set of documentaries about men – such as Olympic gymnast Louis Smith – talking about their own experiences of depression.
In the launch video (below) Smith says depression quickly snatched him away from his old life.
LADbible are brilliantly placed to help us listen to and learn from a huge number of guys
“I got that down I could see why people would end up committing suicide,” he says.
“I think men try to be proud. Almost to the point that they try to be in denial. And if anything goes wrong, it just boils over.”
TheLADbible will promote the content to its followers on social media and urge them to join in the conversation on the dedicated UOKM8? section on its website.
The site will also gather data from its readers and share it with policy makers and charities and build an open source information bank.
Ian Moore, editorial director of TheLADbible Group said the Manchester based publisher took the decision to use its platform for UOKM8? to empower men to open up.
“We know that our audience are hugely affected by these issues and that they need to feel that opening up is the brave thing to do,” he said.
“Around half of all British men between 18 to 24 follow TheLADbible and I believe that by opening up our platform so our audience can talk about these issues, we can persuade young men to give themselves permission to talk about the feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression that they currently keep secret.
“We’re aiming to generate more data-driven insight into male mental health than has ever been achieved before.”
Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland hailed the project as potentially life-saving.
“Any insights and data that we can gather and understand through working together with TheLADbible's audience could prove life-saving,”she said.
"Every 90 minutes someone in the UK takes their own life and three times more men die by suicide than women.
“We all have a responsibility to understand more about the risks and what we can do to prevent people dying by suicide.”
Jane Powell, chief executive of CALM added: “LADbible is brilliantly placed to help us listen to and learn from a huge number of guys and help build a better understanding of this silent killer.”