A few years ago we Americans devised the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS and it was a good idea, but Australia’s #ItsOkayToTalk themed challenge makes another, probably more powerful statement. The real problem that a lot of people had with the ice bucket challenge is that there was no real result. You didn’t donate money to nerve disease research for each friend that accepted your challenge.
The #ItsOkayToTalk posts are about depression and first came across my dashboard when my Aussie friends started posting about the topic. Here’s the dialogue that went along with the post:
Blokes get depression. It happens. It doesn’t make you weak or broken, but it means you need to talk to someone. Your mates, girlfriends and family are there for you.
The single biggest killer of men aged under 45 is suicide. In 2014, 4623 took their own life. That’s 12 men every day, 1 man every two hours! 41% of men who contemplated suicide felt they could not talk about their feelings.
Only 20% of people know that suicide is the most likely cause of death for men age under 45.
Let’s show men across the world that #ITSOKAYTOTALK and take a selfie with the ? tag 5 friends and let’s get the message
— WayneDavid (@WayneDavid81) August 19, 2016
— Ben Ashcroft (@AshcroftBen) August 16, 2016
Australia seems to have a more prevalent suicide rate for young men, according to Mindframe “Over a five year period from 2010 to 2014, the average number of suicide deaths per year was 2,577”. This particularly a problem with young men overseas while a New York Times articles published in late April stated that in the United States, suicide seems to affect the older generations, stating “men over 75 still have the highest suicide rate of any age group”.
The site behind the hashtag, OK2TALK has a website where they offer a help line and invite people to post about their issues and how they’re handling them. So far this has only been an Australian trend, but I’d love to see it catch up in America.