WORDS BY MARCUS RAYMOND

Us blokes often aren’t too good at talking about our feelings.

The fact that 76% of all suicides in 2014 were men suggests we’re more prone to keeping things bottled up than women when it comes to things like depression and anxiety.

But the good news is that more male celebrity role models are speaking out about times they’ve struggled with their mental health, showing other men that it’s okay to talk.

The latest person to do this was Rio Ferdinand, whose documentary “Being Mum and Dad” came out last week.

This touching insight into life for Ferdinand and his kids after his wife’s death from breast cancer received an overwhelmingly positive response, with the ex-Manchester United and England footballer branded a "hero" and a "warrior" for his brave account.

Ferdinand has said that he now understands why many people consider suicide, having previously thought it to be a selfish act. “You hurt yourself if you don’t talk”, he said.

Here we look at five other male celebs who have spoken publicly about their mental health.

Stormzy

The grime star recently revealed details of his battle with depression to Channel 4 news.

Many people think this is particularly special because of how central bravado and shows of masculinity are to the grime music world.

Stormzy’s vulnerability is even revealed in some of his lyrics: “Like man’a get low sometimes, so low sometimes, airplane mode on my phone sometimes, sitting in my house with tears in my face, can’t answer the door to my bro sometimes”. 

 

Ricky Hatton

The former boxing champion helped break the stigma around mental health by sharing details of how his struggles with depression led him to attempt suicide.

He said more recently: “Whenever I have bad days now, I speak to someone to get it off my chest. I have no shame telling that and that's why I'm here today."

Other boxing stars such as Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno and Tyson Fury are also known to have struggled with their mental health.

 

Professor Green

The UK rapper released a documentary called “Suicide and Me” which told the story of his father’s suicide in 2008.

The Independent said of the programme: “It may be that the rapper’s tears will usher in a watershed moment. Young men must know that expressing emotion is normal.”

Freddie Flintoff

The cricket legend made a documentary called “Hidden Side of Sport”, where he talked to fellow sporting professionals about the effects of depression.

As well as talking about his own anxiety and unhappiness, Freddie spoke to former snooker player Graeme Dott, fellow cricketer Steve Harmison, and ex-footballer Vinnie Jones, amongst others, to hear their experiences.

Flintoff recently got together with Professor Green to talk about mental health.

 

Clarke Carlisle

Another frank documentary was Clarke Carlisle’s “Football’s Suicide Secret”, where he visited the spot where he tried to kill himself as part of a broader look at depression in football.

Carlisle only spoke out about the incident after fellow footballer Gary Speed committed suicide.

 

If you’re in crisis or feeling suicidal, you can phone the Samaritans on 116 123.

CALM are an organisation who exist to prevent male suicide, and have a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, 0800 58 58 58.

You can also access information on mental health support by phoning the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393, or you can text them on 86463. 

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