At the Giants Live World Tour Final, Craig Toley from Strongman Motivation chatted to some of the World’s Strongest Men about a topic that affects so many of us, but which we (guys in particular) do not talk about enough: mental health.
I’d spend the entire journey to work thinking about my own death and how it would happen.
At work, a colleague would ask “hey, Craig, how are you?”. I would laugh a bit and tell them “I’m good” and they would walk away feeling great about life with no idea of what was really going on in my head.
It’s so easy to hide behind a smile. Sadly, we live in a time where it’s not okay to cry and it’s not okay to let the world know you are not okay. Through social media, we have become so good at convincing everybody we know that life is great and we are all enjoying it.
Well, I can tell you all quite openly I cried yesterday, even now while writing these words I am fighting back the tears because this subject is very important to me.
On average, 13 people kill themselves every day in England (2016 stats).
On Average, there are 123 suicides a day in the USA (2016 stats).
If those numbers don’t scare you, it is estimated that for every person who commits suicide, 25 people attempt it.
Then take into account the lives affected by these suicides and the ripple effect it can have on generations of family and friends. Just imagine how many of these lives could have been saved if they were not afraid to answer the question below honestly.
"Are you ok?"
We really, really need to break the stigma attached to not being ok. It doesn’t matter how strong people may appear on the outside, we are all fighting our own battles. We all go through bad things and we all need to make more of a conscious effort to not hide how we feel from others.
It’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to not be ok!
Kaz’s words in the video below have stuck with me since my interview with him:
"If you need help, seek help.”
I hope that seeing some of the strongest men on the planet talking openly about mental health will help in some small way to break the stigma.
If you are in the UK, there are some great resources here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/
And in the US: http://suicideprevention.wikia.com/wiki/USA
In closing, please remember that you are never alone and there will always be someone around who cares about you and wants to help you get to a better place.
Author: Craig Toley, Strongman Motivation