LIFESTYLE

Men, It's Okay To Reach Out For Help If You're Suffering From Depression

'There’s always someone you could talk to. Often closer than you think.'

12/06/2017 14:15 BST | Updated 12/06/2017 16:20 BST

They say no man is an island, but when it comes to mental health issues many find themselves in an ocean of their own thoughts, feeling both isolated and unable to reach out for help.

Depression affects millions of men around the world and suicide remains the biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK. Ultimately many feel unable to cope with or talk about how they feel because of rigid notions of what it means to be a man.

That’s why Heads Up Guys, an organisation working to support men with mental health issues, has curated a series of photographs to encourage men to #ReachOut for support to mark Men’s Health Week (12-18 June 2017).

Drawing on their own experiences with mental health, the photographers share powerful messages on why it’s vital for everyone to remember they are not alone.

  • Nathan Milner
    Reach Out “Sometimes it can be the hardest part but if you reach out you never know who will be there to pull you through.”

    - Nathan Milner, fine art portrait photographer, Melbourne, Australia  

    Website: www.nathanmilner.net
    Facebook: Nathan Milner Photography
    Instagram: @nathanmilnerphoto
    Twitter:
    @nathantmilner
    Flickr: Nathan Milner
  • Joel Robison
    Reach Out For A Lift   “By reaching out to those around us we are able to allow them the opportunity to help pick us up and help carry us through the difficult times that we may be facing.”

    - Joel Robison, conceptual photographer, British Columbia, Canada

     Website: joelrobison.com
    Facebook: Joel Robison Photography
    Instagram: @JoelRobison
    Flickr: Joel Robison
  • Joel Robison
    Reach Out For Reminders  “By reaching out to those who care about us, we can be reminded of who we are and that we are more than just the depression or anxiety we may be facing. Our loved ones are able to remind us of who we are as a whole.” 

    - Joel Robison, conceptual photographer, British Columbia, Canada 

    Website: joelrobison.com
    Facebook: Joel Robison Photography
    Instagram: @JoelRobison
    Flickr: Joel Robison
  • Joel Robison
    Reach Out For Protection “By reaching out to those in our lives we can allow them to provide us a chance to help care for and guide us through the difficulties we may be experiencing.”

    - Joel Robison, conceptual photographer, British Columbia, Canada 

    Website: joelrobison.com
    Facebook: Joel Robison Photography
    Instagram: @JoelRobison
    Flickr: Joel Robison
  • Tsoku Maela
    ‘A brief reminder of solitude’ from the series Abstract Peaces "The image reimagines solitude not as a form of loneliness, but an opportunity to reconnect (or in this context, reach out) firstly with yourself. It can be a bit challenging during bouts of depression as the closer you think you are to that self, the further away you feel at the same time - but it’s the process in-between that is crucial. Becoming familiar and valuing self. Knowing you are worthy and deserving of love and support from others." 

    - Tsoku Maela, Visual Artist, Johannesburg/Cape Town, South Africa 

    Website: tsokumaela.com
    Instagram: tsocu
  • Tommy Ingberg
    "Isolating yourself only makes things worse. When all your instincts tell you to retreat inward, find and follow the path that leads back from darkness. It can be hard to find the strength to do it, but reaching out is crucial." 

    - Tommy Ingberg, visual artist, Nyköping/Stockholm, Sweden  Website: ingberg.com

    Facebook: Photography by Tommy Ingberg
    Instagram: @tommyingberg
    Twitter: @tommy_ingberg
  • Adam Hague
    Life Line “There’s always someone you could talk to. Often closer than you think.” 

    - Adam Hague, conceptual self portrait artist and photographer, Brunei and UK

    Facebook (main website): Adam Hague Photography
    Instagram: @adamhague.photography
    Flickr: Adam Hague
  • Mike Alegado
    “When things get heavier and everything is coming down on you, give it your all to reach out for help. There is no shame in asking for help, we are only human and we shouldn't carry everything on our shoulders because it would only cause our downfall.” 

    - Mike Alegado, Conceptual & Fine Art Portrait Photographer, Manila, Philippines Website: mikealegado.com

    Facebook: Mike Alegado Photography
    Twitter: @MikeAlegado
    Flickr: Mike Alegado
    Instagram: @mikealegado
  • Rob Woodcox
    “One day I was sitting in my house thinking, “I wonder what is happening in the box next door?” Literally I sat 10 feet from my closest neighbors, yet I was all alone. I wondered if my time spent here, whether in person or online, was even making a dent in the world. After traveling to Indiana, for a photography meet up, and meeting 30 people I had never known in person before, it became very clear that even in the darkest of times, I can and do reach others, and it is always possible to make that even more of a reality.” 

    Rob Woodcox, surreal portrait and fine art photographer, Portland, Oregon   

    Website: robwoodcox.com
    Facebook: Rob Woodcox Photography
    Instagram: @robwoodcox
    Twitter: @RobWoodcox
    Flickr: Rob Woodcox
  • Harry Woodgate
    (1/2)“For me this piece symbolises that feeling of lightness that comes with being honest about how you're feeling, not just with others but also with yourself. Sort of like a break in the clouds, or a little flower coming up amongst the dirt, when you're able to articulate what you're struggling with it almost becomes something separate to you rather than something which is so overwhelming. That often makes it easier to begin to appreciate things again, once you've 'externalised' your feelings.”

    - Harry Woodgate, fine art photographer and illustrator, St Albans, United Kingdom. 

    Website: www.harrywoodgate.com
    Facebook: Harry Woodgate Illustration
    Instagram: @harrywoodgatephoto
    Twitter: @harryewoodgate
    Flickr: Harry Woodgate
  • Harry Woodgate
    (2/2) “I was thinking about the idea of cleansing with this image - washing away the dirt and the darkness and moving forwards to a better place. When I'm down it sometimes feels as if I'm attracting all these negative feelings, like they're sticking to me and weighing me down in a physical sense. So this is about finding little things which help to clear your view, or cleanse, so to speak - things like exercising or talking to someone you trust or even just taking care of yourself even if you don't manage to get anything else done. Those little acts all help to break down the intensity of what you're feeling.” 

    - Harry Woodgate, fine art photographer and illustrator, St Albans, United Kingdom. 

    Website: www.harrywoodgate.com
    Facebook: Harry Woodgate Illustration
    Instagram: @harrywoodgatephoto
    Twitter: @harryewoodgate
    Flickr: Harry Woodgate
  • Nicolas Bruno
    “When we become trapped in our own thoughts, we may leave slack on the lines of communication between our friends and loved ones. In order to persevere, we must remember to keep our lines taught with the transmissions of care and support for each other.” 

    - Nicolas Bruno, fine art photographer, Northport, New York, U.S.A.  

    Website: nicolasbrunophotography.com
    Facebook: Nicolas Bruno Photography
    Instagram: @nicolasbruno
    Flickr: thewickedend - Nicolas Bruno
  • Adam Williams
    “My own battles with mental health is in many ways my muse, and the darkest days series is a direct reflection of that. Featuring dark heavy clouds (Battles) broken by flashes of bright sunlight (hope, love of family and friends) ‘Even in the darkest days there is always hope and help for clearer days’” 

    - Adam Williams, professional photographer, Sydney, Australia. 

    Website: australianphotographer.com
    Facebook: Adam Williams Photography
    Instagram: @adamwilliamsphotography
Useful websites and helplines:
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk