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Why I'm Guest Editing The Huffington Post And Helping To Build Modern Men

01/11/2016 09:10 | Updated 02 November 2016
PETER PARKS via Getty Images

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You may have noticed I work in a pretty emotional job. Whether I'm winning or losing there's a huge amount going on under the surface. The pressure is always there and quite honestly, at times it's hard to hide.

In my younger years I sometimes struggled to manage what was going on in my head. Moments of anger or frustration would spill out and it rarely helped me win.

But when I cried on the centre court at Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer, some people saw me in a different light.

People didn't laugh or think less of me, it was the opposite. It felt like they respected me more. They respected me for letting off the pressure cooker of emotion and for letting the mask slip.

Sadly, many men don't feel they can let the mask slip. Many men express their stresses and emotions in self-destructive and sometimes life-ending ways. They build up emotion and don't have the tools to deal with what's going on in their lives.

Suicide rates in the UK identify a glaring problem for men. In 2014 there were 6,109 suicides in the UK. 4,623 of these were male, which means suicide is the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in this country. It's time to act.

Suicide is very much a male epidemic, with men almost four times more likely than women to take their own life - but the reasons why are unclear.

It is a massive privilege to be guest editor of the Huffington Post today as we launch Building Modern Men. Over the next month you're going to hear stories of remarkable people doing remarkable things to change the conversation around mental health and male suicide.

I think there are some key issues we desperately need to kickstart a conversation around so we can all work to reduce this horrible statistic. It's a chance to raise awareness of subjects which men don't naturally talk about.

As a new father issues around fatherhood fascinate me, as do the issues such as bereavement, stereotypes around sexuality, how we talk about women, expressing emotion and masculinity.

I've learnt from the HuffPost UK team that finding solutions is a core value for any editor.

Building Modern Men will not only talk about problems facing men, but it will tell the stories of people and communities doing amazing things, overcoming great odds and coming up with solutions to the very real challenges they face.

Today we're launching the series by releasing an original video entitled 'Boys Do Cry' which includes men like Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen, Alastair Campbell, Joe Wicks, Robert Peston and Twin Atlantic describing the last time they cried.

Later this month we're also going to be revealing new statistics from the biggest audit of men with our partner CALM.

Together, we have the chance to make a genuine difference for an entire generation of men to start living their lives in a different way.

HuffPost UK is running a month-long focus around men to highlight the pressures they face around identity and to raise awareness of the epidemic of suicide. To address some of the issues at hand, Building Modern Men presents a snapshot of life for men, the difficulty in expressing emotion, the challenges of speaking out, as well as kick starting conversations around male body image, LGBT identity, male friendship and mental health.

To blog for Building Modern Men, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com. If you would like to read our features focused around men, click here

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