Being Different Series

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is all about the new page that I have made for my Being Different blog series!Similar to how we have updated both the Alzheimer’s Acceptance and Alzheimer’s Avoidance series, the Being Different series has now had a big update to it! I much prefer the new page to what it used to be in the Blogapedia, let me know what you think!

Being Different page.

I am slowly making my way through every series in the Blogapedia and giving them all their own pages! The transition process does take a while for me to do so I do apologize for the time that it takes to amend and update. As the Being Different series was the second series that I ever did on the page, I have needed to make some amendments to the page to make it more coherent with the rest of my work. The blogs are now all a bit longer and contain a lot more content that they used too! I hope you all enjoy the newly updated blogs!

To find the new page is simple. You can either find it by pressing the link above or you can go over to the Blogs drop-down list, hover over Blogapedia and you can find it there. Alternatively you can go straight to the Blogapedia page and find it there. All of the series that I write on the page are on the Blogapedia so if you are looking for something new to read, check it out!

Blogapedia is available here.

So what is the Being Different Series?

The Being Different series was the second series that I every wrote for the page and is all about why Being Different is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. The series focuses on the positive side of Being Different whilst also bringing in what Being Different actually means and the affect that it can have on your life.

I have edited a few of the blogs again recently to make sure that they are a lot more relevant and have a lot more content in them that they already had. Although they have been edited the original message that I wanted to portray through the series still stands and the actual purpose of each blog hasn’t changed at all.

The first blog in the series acts as an introduction to the series, talking about what we hope to cover through the series. The second blog goes into detail about what being different is and compares Oxford Dictionaries definition of what being different is to one that I made myself. The third blog in the series takes a look at the positive side of being different and how difference is a good thing and is something that we should embrace.

The fourth blog in the series takes a different approach and talks about how you can see yourself change though the years through a mirror. In this blog we talk about even though the way you see the world may change, the person that you are inside does not need to change. The fifth blog is the last blog in the series and acts as a series summary, talking about everything we covered in the series.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! I hope you have all enjoyed! What do you think? Are you going to read the Being Different series? Should I bring the series back? Are you enjoying the new pages coming to Sweeney’s Blogs? What page would you like to see next? Let me know what you think of these questions and any other comments you have either in the comments below or via our Facebook page!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blog

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James Sweeney

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 11: Getting back up again

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is the 11th blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series and is going to be about getting back up again. This is going to be the last blog in the series for a short while as I am putting the series on hold for a while to work on a series about Stuttering in Mainstream Media. I think that if I put the series on hold for a few weeks then when I bring it back it will seem fresher and I will have more time to plan the ideas out and give the blogs the attention and focus that they deserve.

Getting back up again is a short phrase that seems really easy to do, however, it is not always easy. I find that the two hardest parts about getting over a mental health problem are firstly accepting you have it and then discovering how you can pick yourself back up again. It can be easier than it seems, we can make an impossible task seem easy to solve simply by thinking about it in a different way.

I have touched on the prospect of putting yourself back together in a few blogs in this series, especially in my Rebuilding the Jigsaw blog. In this blog, https://sweeneysblog.com/2019/05/21/looking-into-male-mental-health-blog-6-rebuilding-the-jigsaw/, I go into depth about how there is always a way to put yourself back together but I feel like I can expand on it a little better in this blog.

Picking yourself back up is a task that I struggled a lot with when I went through a poor Mental Health phase. When I was in the mindset everything seemed so pointless and I couldn’t really see a way out. This mindset is a very dangerous one to be in as I was constantly thinking negatively, hence everything else that happened in my life was perceived in a more negative light to how it would usually be.

I can remember the days when I thought that I would never break through my problems and I used to think that they would consume me. What makes the matter worse is that in my head I was ashamed at myself for not having the strength or willpower to fix the mess that I had put myself in. This all ties back to what I was talking about when I mentioned your mindset earlier on.

My mindset at this time was very negative. The way that I approached life was all doom and gloom and in doing that I simply created more problems for myself. I eventually learnt to understand the fact that if I did not change my mindset then I would eventually break. After finally learning that I needed to change how I thought about things a new thought came to me, how does someone change their mindset?

This question had me stumped for a good number of weeks until I finally worked out what I was going to do. I first started to reduce my hours in work so that I had more time to do university work and time to relax. After this, I created a basic timetable, nothing too specific but a basic guide to what I should be doing every day.

From this point then I began to prioritise the work that I had to do off the volume and the due date. As I started to do this I could see that I had enough time to complete all of my work as long as I keep a cool head and relax. Even simply getting my university work back on track started to make me feel so much better about myself. After I had finished all the work then I used to schedule in extra time to fix any other problems that I was facing. This gave me the opportunity to simply think about university work when I was doing work and then think of how to solve my other problems when I had spare time.

Cutting down on unnecessary work hours and scheduling my time better made the world of difference when it came to changing my mindset. they allowed me to relax and to get myself out of the cycle of panic that I was constantly living in. This was one way that I found to get back up again, to keep on going.

There are a million different ways to get back up again, usually, it comes down to the person. As I say in the majority of these blogs and especially in the Jigsaw one mentioned above, all of these blogs come down to interpretation. If you use a different way to get yourself through a rough time and get back up again then that is just as valid as my way. Out of curiosity if you do use a different way to pick yourself back up then let me know in the comments below. The phrases getting back up and picking up the pieces/picking yourself up all mean the same thing. They are simply the words for when you rebuild yourself/ when you find a way to piece yourself back together again.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog, thank you all so much for reading! What do you all think of today’s blog? How do you pick yourself up? Do you always use the same way or does it depend on the situation? Leave your answers in the comments!

As mentioned at the start of this blog, the series will be going on hold for a little while. Even though I do still really enjoy writing the blogs for the series I feel like I need some more time to properly plan out where the series is going and how I am going to write the blogs for it. A new series called Stuttering in Mainstream Media will be replacing the usual spot where this series is until i can bring the series back again. I hope you all enjoy the series and keep reading the blogs!

Thanks again for reading. Let me know what you think – I appreciate all feedbcak be it positive or negative!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 10: The Brave Face

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Today’s blog is going to be the tenth blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series and is going to be about The Brave Face. Putting on a brave face is a phrase that is commonly used in day to day life. In this blog, we are going to be taking a deeper look into this phrase and then taking a look at the real world implications that it can have.

The term “Put on a brave face” can have several different meanings. The Free Dictionary, https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+on+a+brave+face, defines it as “to appear or make oneself seem more courageous, resolute or dauntless than one really feels”. I quite like this definition as it is easy to interpret and I believe that it defines the phrase quite well. I do have my own definition for the phrase which I think puts it in a more relatable light h however.

I like to define “put on a brave face” as a mask that we use to hide our real feelings. Even though this definition may seem very similar to the one written by The Free Dictionary, I feel like my definition encompasses a larger demographic. Like most pieces of work, however, it is all down to your personal preference. A lot of the blogs that I write do come down to personal interpretation. If you prefer a different definition to the two that I have written here that is completely fine, the points remain the same throughout the definitions, it is just the wording that changes.

When relating this to the world in general there are lots of different avenues you can take. You can apply this term to current world problems, politics, relationships or simply too personal life. The most common adaption of this phrase is when it is used in a personal way. It is very common that people put on a brave face when dealing with Mental Health problems.

It is very common for people or even society, in general, to turn a blind eye to problems like Mental Health simply due to lack of understanding or situational awareness. People often hide their problems and hope that they will go away with time. This style of coping does simply lead to an increase in the number of problems with no solution being found as your head is buried in the sand.

Unfortunately, people nowadays do actively try to avoid solving their problems. This can be caused by a number of different causes. Some of the problems that cause people to avoid solving their problems include lack of time available, fear of not being able to solve the problem, lack of resources available to fix the problem and many more. When people do put on a brave phrase it can often lead to an increase in the number of problems they face. This then triggers the Rollercoaster Effect that I mentioned in the fifth blog of this series, https://sweeneysblog.com/2019/05/14/looking-into-male-mental-health-blog-5-the-rollercoaster-theory/.

We are now going to take a brief look into how this phrase can directly link back to Male Mental health specifically.  Put on a brave face can easily be linked to Male Mental Health. Although I do bring it up a lot in this series I think that a large proportion of that can be linked back to male stereotypes that have been created by society. Men are painted as people who do not need to share their problems, they are meant to be people who solve everyone else’s problems including their own. These stereotypes do much more harm than good.

It is very easy to think to yourself that if you leave a problem for long enough then it will fix itself, this, however, is not the case. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you have a problem or to admit that you need help but when you do it can make life so much better. Trying to find help for your problems is an entity that is undervalued in modern day society. Sourcing help for your problems is almost like you are breaking the mask that you put on when you put on a brave face. Breaking the cycle is paramount to breaking the cycle and is the start of solving Mental Health problems.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Do you put on a brave face? Does it have a positive or negative effect on your life? How can we break the cycle of putting on a brave face? How do you think putting on a brave face relates to mental health? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know what you think! All feedback is appreciated – be it positive or negative! If you have a minute or two spare please leave a rating and review on our Facebook Page! I am thinking of launching a new advertising campaign soon, let me know what you think I should do!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 9: Personal Experience 2

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be about one of my personal experiences when it comes to Male Mental Health. The aim of these personal experience blogs is to show that even when you are at rock bottom there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I myself have gone through a number of problems when it comes to mental health and I believe that by mixing facts and personal experience help present a balanced picture on what mental health really is and how it affects us all.

The self-hate/doubt mechanism is a coping technique that I first started using when I used to get bullied a lot in school. The technique itself is a very poor one that only went on to make me feel worse about myself as you will see when I go into how the technique itself works. It is a coping technique that I used when I was desperate and it is a very bad way to go about life. If anyone reading this blog does do this to themselves then I would urge them to seek help. Even talking through your problems with a person you trust is a much better form of release rather than getting trapped in a cycle of self-hatred.

The main principle for the self-hate cycle that I created was simple. I would constantly put myself down and degrade myself before others had the chance too. Even though it didn’t make me feel better in my head at the time I was just thinking that it would be easier if I put myself down, instead of someone doing it for me. This cycle was my way of not letting others hurt me, I would break myself instead of giving someone else the chance too.

Once you put yourself in this cycle it is very hard to break after you start using it. The cycle tends to get more and more aggressive to the point where you cross-examine and doubt every action you take. It is an extremely dangerous cycle which is why I wanted to talk about it. If you know anyone who is currently, unfortunately, using this coping technique or if you use it yourself then it is key that you break the cycle. I fully comprehend that this is easy to say and to actually break the chain requires a lot more work but if the cycle isn’t broken or at least reduced then you will sadly end up in a very dark place mentally.

As I mentioned in a lot of my previous blogs Mental Health is a very complicated topic. It is very very rare that the problems people face stem from one source, it is often a mixture of several sources/problems all at once. This is where the self-hate cycle becomes even more dangerous. If you adopt this technique as a form of coping when you are already experiencing problems then it starts to become too much to handle.

The phrase that I quite like to talk about is balancing the books, and it becomes ever the more paramount here. Learning to find a way of releasing can be vital when it comes to breaking the cycle of self-hate. I can’t say one way that works for everyone as there is no one way. You need to find your release and only then will you be able to even attempt to break the cycle.

I have been experiencing the self-hate cycle for a number of years. It took me a long while to recognise what it actually is and then even longer to figure out how to manage it. To put it simply it is very very hard to completely break the cycle, however, it is manageable. Learning the manage to technique to a point where you almost never feel it is vital when it comes to beating it.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you all think? Have you ever experienced the self-hate cycle? How did you overcome it? What do you think leads a person to pick up the cycle? Do we need to learn how to identify when someone is suffering from this management technique?

Thank you all for reading! Let me know what you think via the comments or on the Facebook page! We are nearly at 2,000 total views, great work everyone!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 6: Rebuilding the Jigsaw

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Today’s blog is the sixth blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series and is going to be called Rebuilding the Jigsaw. Today’s blog is going to look at how we can learn how to put ourselves back together after going through a rough time and is also going to act as a summary for the series so far.

When you hit rock bottom it’s often hard to see how you can pick yourself up and put yourself back together again. The sense of desperation and isolation can make you feel like you will never be able to be the same again however it is not the case. There is always a way to rebuild the jigsaw that is ourselves however sometimes it is harder to find.

Now as I think in a very theoretical way I like to compare how we rebuild ourselves to how a person might make a jigsaw. There are hundreds of ways to solve a jigsaw, the same can be said about some problems that we encounter. A few of the more common ways to solve a jigsaw puzzle involve starting with the corners, finding 2 random parts that fit together or by simply trying to recreate one section of the original puzzle and working from there. I mention these because it can easily relate to how we can go about solving our problems.

The way we solve pour problems is individual, there is no right or wrong answer for how to solve a problem. Some people find avenues such as counselling and therapy help them out greatly, that is not to say that if you do not find counselling helpful then you are wrong, it is all down to what works for you. From speaking to a few friends it is clear to me the large diversity of solutions to problems. Some people like to talk them out with friends or family, some like to create songs or poems, some people write blogs and some people do a lot of exercise to name but a few.

The point of the blog is not to tell you which way you should use to help solve your problems, but to simply focusing on the actual rebuilding process itself. I am thinking of doing a very deep blog series into rebuilding your mind in the future so I am going to be careful f how much detail I go into at this point. The human mind is an extraordinary entity, one which no one truly understands. The mind is capable of getting over problems, it is just down to if we as individuals can get over them.

The process of rebuilding yourself can be a very interesting one. A common phrase which you would hear a lot if you look into mental health is that you only really understand true pain if you have gone through it and come out on the other side. This comment is often criticised due to the perception of what pain really is. Pain is a word that has different meanings for different people, some people have very high pain tolerance levels whereas others don’t. Little things may affect people greatly or may have little effect on them, it is all down to the person. This just goes to back up the point that rebuilding yourself is a common goal that people try to achieve but the way that you do it is completely down to the individual.

We as people need to learn how we put ourselves back together again and then have to learn how we can adapt that into our lives. This topic can be seen as a very general topic about Mental Health as a whole but I think that it fits in with how the series is going very well. The rest of the blog today is going to act as a short summary of what has been covered so far in the series.

Mental Health is a topic that is only recently getting the attention it deserves. The purpose of this series is to look into Male Mental Health and see how we can begin to help people who are experiencing Mental Health problems. The main reason that I believe that Male Mental Health is as bug an issue that it is today is down to stereotypes. Stereotypes have been the cause of a lot of very large problems throughout history. The main stereotype is that men are too touch to talk about their problems and should be able to handle all of their problems by themselves. This stereotype has no merit in my books, I think it is completely ridiculous.

In the personal blog that I posted for this series, I went in depth about how one bully tried to break me and how they slowly began to break away at me. this blog wasn’t posted as an attack at that person, it was posted to show that even though someone can break you, you can always put yourself back together again. If I do more blogs in this series I will do more blogs going into my personal experiences with mental health as well as more theories that I have made in order to help me understand what mental health really is.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you all think? Are we still enjoying the series or would we rather it be finished soon? I will be running a poll on the blogs Facebook Page, Sweeney’s Blogs (you can find it by clicking the link in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page), to see what the overall verdict is. How do you rebuild yourself when you have been knocked down?

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have all enjoyed! Let me know what you think in the comments below or via the contact page! All feedback is appreciated, be it positive or negative!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

£5.00

James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 5: The Rollercoaster Theory

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Today’s blog is going to talk about The Rollercoaster Theory, a theory I have created, and how it links to Mental Health. We are then going to take a closer look at how this theory links directly with Male Mental Health and the steps we can take to try and reduce this theory’s effect on people.

The Rollercoaster Theory is one of the many theories that I have created to help visualise how stress and mental health problems can directly affect us. In my experience of creating theories I often find that they are a hit or miss area. What I mean by this is some people can easily relate to them and it can help them understand the thought process of people whereas others who don’t understand them or don’t like them find them useless.

When I first made this theory I made two possible explanations for it. In this blog, I am only going to be going over one of the explanations but if it receives a good response then I might do a second blog going into the theory a bit more.

The basic premise of the Rollercoaster Theory is as follows: We, as people, are the cars in the rollercoaster. The problems and obstacles that we face in life add to the height in the rollercoaster. If we do not find a way of releasing these problems then we slowly go higher and higher up the rollercoaster track. As I have brought up in the past with previous blogs and my balloon theory, everything has its limit. It is this principle which applies to the Rollercoaster Theory as well.

If we go through life no sorting out any of our problems but more so just keeping them going in our lives then we are eventually going to reach the peak of what we can handle. This is the peak of the rollercoaster, it’s from this that we start to go down the rollercoaster, or downhill in real life. This downhill spiral eventually reaches the bottom and then the rollercoaster starts again. This theory could quite easily be called the Hill Theory as the concept is the same however visualising it as a rollercoaster adds to the scale of the theory and it makes it easier to remember.

This theory helps us visualise mental health in a simple and easy to understand way. It helps show us how mental health can make our mood go up or down similar to a rollercoaster and how if we leave our problems to accumulate until we can’t handle them much longer then we will collapse and start going downhill, down the rollercoaster, faster and faster.

Now it goes without saying that the theory can relate to anyone regardless of gender however we are now going to take a look into how the theory can relate to Male Mental Health in more depth. The classic stereotype of men being able to handle all of their problems by themselves and being too proud to talk about their problems links this theory to male mental health perfectly.

The way in which the stereotype leads to people keeping their problems to themselves adds to them climbing up the rollercoaster. The more isolated people become often leads to the more problems they face. These problems if not handled correctly act as a catalyst and propel people up the rollercoaster at alarmingly fast speeds. This causes people to face the downhill turn of events much faster than they usually wood often relating to people struggling severely with things like stress and mental health issues.  This is but one of the examples of how this theory links back to male mental health and it shows that steps need to be taken to get people off this rollercoaster cycle.

That is all that I want to talk about in today’s blog! I would talk about the theory in more depth but I do not want the blog to be too long or for it to drag on. If anyone wants me to do an individual blog on my Rollercoaster Theory then let me know and I will start working on it!

Thank you all for reading today’s blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series! What do you all think? Does the Rollercoaster Theory make sense to you? Do you think that the Rollercoaster Theory links to male mental health well? Do you have any theories or ideas that you use to visualise mental health? How would you get someone off the rollercoaster cycle? Let me know what you think in the comments or by getting in touch with me!

Thanks again for reading! All feedback is appreciated!

James

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 2: Knowing your Limits

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be the second blog in my Looking into Male Mental Health Series. Today’s blog is going to focus on the importance of knowing your limits and finding balance in your life which will make a great link to next weeks blog which is going to talk about the help and support that is available.

Identifying your limits can be one of the most important things to do in life. Knowing how much work you can take on and complete at one time can be a tremendous asset to have in your corner. It is often a skill that is overlooked. People nowadays often tend to take on much more than they can handle which eventually leads to them struggling with stress, upcoming deadlines and a vast array of other forms of pressure. This stress and pressure have negative effects on a persons physical and mental health.

A recent video that I shared on the blogs Facebook page, the video:https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/2559921220689156/UzpfSTM4MjA2OTI2OTAxNzgyMDo0MTQ5MzAyNDkwNjUwNTU/?modal=admin_todo_tour, gives us an insight into how stress affects our body in a number of different ways. The video just further solidifies that fact that we need to learn how much we can handle and then use that to plan how we live our day to day life.

It is a common trend that we as people tend to take on as much as we can at once in hopes that we can somehow balance it all and achieve a standard of work that we want to achieve whilst also retaining a strong and stable mental health. It is a common trend in people especially younger people to somewhat undervalue the impact that stress can have on your health. People tend to become overtaken with their work and then begin to wall themselves off from their family, friends and society itself. This is very common to see with younger men and is a reason why male mental health has become such a worrying entity in today’s society.

In my opinion, it all stems from the age-old stereotype that men are too strong to talk about their feelings and that they can handle everything by themselves. This old stereotype holds no merit in today’s society. It has become a clear sign of someone struggling with mental health problems if they begin to isolate themselves from society yet this old stereotype almost seems to encourage it.

Asking for help and or support can be one of the strongest things a person can do. Knowing that you have taken on too much at once and trying to recover from it is one of the most vital things a person can do to preserve their mental health. It’s all well and good having a lot of things to do each day but if you do not give your mind and body enough time to heal and recover then eventually you will collapse.

It is not a nice thing to say but it is a fact of life. People have a limit to how much they can handle and if this is not respected then people will struggle even more. When people learn of their own limit then it can help them plan out what they need to do each day. This allows people to be organised and will allow them to complete all the work that they need to do.

Thanks for reading this weeks blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series! What do you all think of the blog? Do you think identifying your limit is a good thing? Do you know your limit? Is it important to notice when someone is struggling and intervene before they ask for help? As always all feedback is appreciated,

James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 1: The Introduction

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

This is going to be the first blog in a new series that I am going to be doing called Looking into Male Mental Health. There is a forever increasing worrying figure of male suicides in the last few years due to people not seeing another way out. Society is seen to expect men to take on everyone else’s problems but keep their problems to themselves, this causing dramatically high-stress levels which can lead to some men sadly taking their own life.

This series is going to be a more personal series for me as I am going to be talking about the mental health problems that I have encountered, how I learnt how to manage them and where people can go to get the help that they need. Due to the traumatic events that have happened lately, there has been a large spotlight shone on male mental health. The awareness that something needs to be done is increasingly daily however enough things are not being done.

Sadly stereotypes have developed in modern society where men are seen as ‘too strong’ to ask for help. This is madness. Noone is too strong to ask for help, admitting you need help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. As I am going to be talking about in a future blog I have had counselling in the past. At first, I thought it was weak and would do nothing to me however after going for a few weeks I found it a great aid to me. Counselling allowed me to talk about the problems that I was having in a judgement free environment and then I could work with my counsellor to help resolve my problems.

People need to be informed of the signs that someone is struggling in day to day life. What quite a lot of people don’t understand is evening asking someone if they are alright can make the world of difference. Learning to distinguish the signs that someone is struggling is key when trying to help them. People often have their own symptoms and signs that they are struggling and simply recognising these can allow you to plan how you are going to help them resolve their problems.

Thank you for reading today’s blog in my new male mental health series. This is as far as I want to go for today’s blog as I don’t want the blogs to be too long that they lose their focus and the point they are trying to make. IF anyone has any questions or thoughts on the new series please let me know. What do you think about male mental health? Do we as a society need to change? Why is sharing problems seen as weak? Does strength in numbers become relevant here?

Thanks,

James