Building Modern Men

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.

Young Men And Mental Health: Challenging Stereotypes

Cammeron Meades - Digital Writer with YoungMinds

Young Men And Mental Health: Challenging Stereotypes

The Office for National Statistics reported that 75% of the 6122 suicides in the UK in 2014 were undertaken by men. That's roughly 12 men every day. Shockingly, many of those will not have been in contact with any mental health professional. Only 53% of men who have felt depressed have actually spoken to anyone about it.

Throughout the history of mankind, the male persona has been the epitome of stoicism, strength and courage. The male heroes from childhood stories instil in us the (perhaps dangerous) notion that the best kind of man is all of these things, and therefore dependable in the face of great adversity. Maybe the need to be strong, physically and mentally, goes some way to explain why men often only seek help when the mental condition has become extreme, making it all the harder to treat.

Hypermasculinity Is A Plague On The Modern Man

Louis Michael - TV personality on Gogglebox

Hypermasculinity Is A Plague On The Modern Man

To me, hypermasculinity is about rooting your identity in your gender. There is so much more to everyone that their reproductive organs and the societal expectations that surround them!

We are told to be ourselves, while simultaneously being expected to remain within a strict framework that directly affects the our nature of our lives. I say life is too short and too beautiful to waste it feeling constricted in any way! Wear the colours you feel beautiful in, sing the songs that let you shed your worries, behave the way you would if judgement didn't exist. Because when you do, you'll be taking the first steps towards a world where judgement doesn't exist.

A Week With My Dad Taught Me About The Man I've Become

Ayo Akinwolere - Broadcaster and presenter

A Week With My Dad Taught Me About The Man I've Become

As much as he is my father, and as much as he is much older than me, this time around I truly felt like his carer. He came to see me in my own home, in my adopted city and he was living within my space. For the first time, I noticed his vulnerability: we would walk down the street and he'd budge up really close to me like a child afraid of his surroundings. We'd go to the pub and I'd order for him because he wasn't quite sure how to navigate his way around a hipster East London brewery. It felt great. The balance of power had shifted slightly and I wasn't so afraid of him anymore.

For the first time, I realised that I'd become a man myself. I saw myself in my father, in his mannerisms and in his movements. I permeated his force field of masculinity and I saw him as a person away from my mother's gaze. He's a changed man. He's a quiet man. He's an innocent man. He's also a very forward-thinking man, but most of all he's a human.

Parenting And The Modern Man

Hattie Harrison - Blogger and mum of three

Parenting And The Modern Man

n order to address the stress of modern lives for men and women, we need to talk about it, we need talk about how it is evolving and we need these open conversations to flow from our homes and into our offices. Thus far women have saturated the market for starting conversations about parenting and the stressors it presents. It's time to redress the balance.

Now it's your turn to talk about parenthood, identity, the work life balance and the stressors that life presents. Consider this my contribution to the conversation.

I, for one am listening.

I'm Proud To Play An Abusive Husband, And Show Domestic Abuse Can And Does Happen Anywhere

Timothy Watson - Plays Rob Titchener on BBC's The Archers

I'm Proud To Play An Abusive Husband, And Show Domestic Abuse Can And Does Happen Anywhere
I am frequently asked, what's Rob like to play? Well it sounds trite, but - it's a privilege. The old cliche that 'the villains are the most fun to play' is in part, true (although along with 'break a leg' and 'I'm not out of work, just resting', I've never once heard it said by an actor). But Rob Titchener is more than a 'villain'. He is arrogant, narcissistic and abusive psychopath. He is also - so he believes - charming, kind, loving and selfless. Very complex, in other words. And therein lies the challenge and the thrill to the actor.

My first responsibility is to the lines on the page, and my job is to bring them to life in a way that is consistent and true to the disturbed personality of Rob Titchener. Never once have I thought, how villainous should I be? He must exist within the whole range of characters as believable. In recent weeks one or two people have said to me, "I almost feel sorry for him". Which is remarkable given his crimes. But I'm thrilled because it tells me that the response to him is detailed and nuanced.

Why I Stripped Naked On The Tube

Andre Spicer -

Why I Stripped Naked On The Tube

We live in an image obsessed era. We know that women are particularly vulnerable. They often compare themselves with photoshopped images, which are impossible to live up to. To fight against this unhealthy culture, many women have acted as role models, such as the British Model Iskra Lawrence. They have said enough is enough. They have pointed out that we need to stop objectifying the female body. But the same message applies to men.

For some reason, we don't want to talk about men's distorted body images. We can't all be he-men. Men are victims of this culture too. They are subjected to the same cruel cult of visual perfection. Like women, they start to suffer as a result. This is a call for all men out there, to look at our female friends, find inspiration, and say no to the perfect body image. We are perfect as we are. We are perfect with or without beer bellies, with our without hair, with or without man-boobs.

Let's Start A New Debate About Fathers

Shane Ryan - Chief executive of Working With Men

Let's Start A New Debate About Fathers

Fatherhood, a role that is life-defining, brings massive rewards and can inspire us in troubled times.

But fatherhood also poses huge challenges to those trying to do it well. And I would argue that there's a lot more we could be doing to help them and, I would like to use this platform to begin a wider debate.

Obviously, there are lots of fierce debates about the very concept of fatherhood. But let's not forget what a big factor it is in our world. The global campaigning group MenCare conducted research in 2015, which showed that a staggering 80% of all men will become biological fathers at some point in their lives. Each of them could have the chance to make a big and positive contribution to their child's development.

Football Is My Passion - Helping Young Men Tackle Some Of The Problems They Are Facing Is My Mission

Ian Richardson - Former professional football player

Football Is My Passion - Helping Young Men Tackle Some Of The Problems They Are Facing Is My Mission

I work with many young men who have thought about taking their own life. I have received phone calls on a Saturday evening whilst sat on my sofa, from distressed young men ready to do it. Luckily, through my training and awareness around the issues that lead a person to this point, I have been able to make sure the appropriate steps are taken to help get these individuals to safety.

But how can we help to make sure that this type of intervention is not needed and make sure that young men feel that they are able to express how they are feeling or start conversations with their peers.

One answer is through football.

Raising My Disabled Son Changed My Idea Of Being A Father - And What It Means To Love

Jonathan Bartley - Co-leader of the Green Party

Raising My Disabled Son Changed My Idea Of Being A Father - And What It Means To Love

Being the father of a child with a disability has profoundly challenged me. But it has also profoundly changed me. It has even led to being the first leader of a political party in the UK to job share, with our MP Caroline Lucas, so I can continue to support, love, and learn from, my son.

It has changed my idea of being a father. But also what it means to love. How we define success. My values. My outlook. And with my hand on my heart, I am convinced I am the richer for it.

Men And Suicide: What They Are Telling Us About The Kind Of Care They Want

Joy Hibbins - Founder and Director of Suicide Crisis

Men And Suicide: What They Are Telling Us About The Kind Of Care They Want

I run a Suicide Crisis Centre in Gloucestershire. This month we were invited to give evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee which is undertaking an inquiry into the action needed to help prevent suicide. Many of the questions and comments made by the committee related either directly or indirectly to the kind of support men in crisis are seeking.

Men often tell us that they come to us because they wouldn't have felt able to seek help from their GP. They were concerned that information about their suicidal intent would be documented in their medical records and they believed that this could affect their current job or their future job prospects. A confidential service was important and appealing to them.

Bonding, Baby And Belligerance

Pete Wallroth - Founder of Mummy's Star

Bonding, Baby And Belligerance

The idea of seeking support when I most needed it should have been a given for me... but I didn't. I didn't say a word. I didn't want to worry family, I didn't want to seem weak to friends and I most certainly didn't want to show it to Mair. Surely it was the last thing she needed?

Wrong!

Old Boys Do Cry - Helping 'Invisible Men' Improve Their Mental And Physical Health

Tony Jameson-Allen - Co-founder and director of The Sporting Memories Foundation

Old Boys Do Cry - Helping 'Invisible Men' Improve Their Mental And Physical Health

Sporting memories groups have men living with dementia attending alongside those who may have depression or those who just love sharing stories and talking sport.

Grant funding has helped us develop training, resources and to evaluate the impact we are having. Our free App makes the reminiscence aspect of Sporting Memories available to anyone regardless of where they may be living. Our emerging work around intergenerational interventions has already provided exciting early data on the positive impact these have on the mental wellbeing of children and younger adults and the perception of values between generations.

No Man's Land - When Doctors Prescribe Sheds Instead Of Meds

Chris Lee - Trustee of the UK Men's Sheds Association

No Man's Land - When Doctors Prescribe Sheds Instead Of Meds

The first Men's Shed took root in Australia, created by Vietnam veterans, shunned on their return to civilian life and forced to look out for each other. From the painful birth of a global movement - they now have nearly 1,000 Sheds in Australia - Men's Sheds have come out of the shadows, celebrated worldwide as an effective self-help response to sustain older men's health and reduce suicide rates in all ages.

While the isolation of those Vietnam vets was not of their making, three decades later men are only slowly breaking a self-imposed silence around personal health and relationships. We sit on the symptoms; whether it's problems with piles, peeing or partners until often it's too late.

Men are hard-wired to think they can repair their minds and bodies by themselves. Across the generations we feel that expressing feelings, asking for help, needing help, and even feeling suicidal is not what 'being a man' is all about.

With Men Less Likely To Seek Help With Their Mental Health, Access Must Be Made Easier

Andy Bell - Mental health charity director

With Men Less Likely To Seek Help With Their Mental Health, Access Must Be Made Easier

It is a stark and tragic fact that the biggest cause of death among young men in the UK is now suicide. And in the majority of cases, people who lose their life through suicide have not been in contact with mental health services prior to their death.

The mental health of men and boys is the subject of growing concern as a result of the realisation that poor mental health is now a leading cause of ill health and dramatically poorer prospects throughout life. And with evidence that men are less likely to seek help for their mental health, and that only a third of people with a mental health problem get any treatment, the need to improve access to support has become clear.

Me And My Father's Suicide: The Importance Of Sharing How You Feel

Ed Hunte - Writer and youth mentor

Me And My Father's Suicide: The Importance Of Sharing How You Feel

The reality is, that even if you appear to have friends, you may not have any friends that you can actually share struggles and emotions with, out of fear of jeopardising the very status the friendship is built upon. There is still a tendency to believe that being open about your emotions is a weakness, yet the frightening stats on suicide in young men clearly prove that not to be the case.

That being said, through my experiences of working as a coach and mentor with young people, I see a lot more freedom of expression and a celebration of individuality in today's youth. Initiatives like Great Men are taking practical action in opening up the discussion and encouraging boys and young men to question certain preconceptions around masculinity and how best to move things forward.

Time To Give The NHS The Money It Needs To Finally Ensure Parity Of Esteem For Mental Health

Jon Ashworth - Shadow health secretary and Labour MP

Time To Give The NHS The Money It Needs To Finally Ensure Parity Of Esteem For Mental Health

The NHS is going through its biggest financial squeeze in its history with spending per head set to fall in 2018. This week Philip Hammond has an opportunity to change that funding trajectory and start giving the NHS the funding it really needs. There is widespread speculation that the Chancellor may find a small amount of extra funding for adult social care.

However as welcome as that would be, the real test for his Autumn Statement will be whether it delivers the investment promised to fully fund the NHS. Under the Tories our NHS is underfunded and overstretched. It's time to give the NHS the money it needs including finally ensuring parity of esteem for mental health services.

Grayson Perry On Why Old-School Masculinity Is Man's Greatest Enemy

Brogan Driscoll, Senior Lifestyle Editor at The Huffington Post UK

Grayson Perry On Why Old-School Masculinity Is Man's Greatest Enemy

Often clad in towering heels and brightly-coloured dresses, the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry is far from the archetype of traditional masculinity.

In fact, the 56-year-old transvestite, who goes by his alter ego Claire, has been questioning his own gender identity since he was 12. "I always saw masculinity as optional," he writes.

Perry believes that his transvestism permits him a greater distance and "sharper insight" into the many layers of manhood, which forms the focus of his new book, 'The Descent Of Man'.

Asking For Help Isn't A Sign Of Weakness, But An Example Of Strength

Azhar Kholwadia - Consultant, mentor, psychology graduate

Asking For Help Isn't A Sign Of Weakness, But An Example Of Strength

Being a Male British Asian Muslim I was able to manage the snide comments, resist the social pressures to drink and go clubbing, not following in line with the majority of classmates, whilst still being comfortable in myself by not being the perfect 'Good Muslim boy' in the eyes of the wider family in comparison to other boys my age, by not studying sensible school subjects, such as Maths or Science, or going to study at the Mosque on weekends, as opposed to everyday after school. Finding this 'optimum balance,' of being socially accepted by my peers, whilst still not participating in all the things that they might do and being comfortable in my own personal beliefs irrespective of what the wider the expectations on myself were, was and until recently a constant struggle.

Whether it was because of the stigma of being a man, a British Asian man, that you need to be strong, be the pillar of strength for your family and not ask for help when things gets to much, just be a man and deal with it. The fact is that it's okay not be okay. Knowing when to ask for help is a being more of a 'man' than internalising it all, letting it eat you up, play on your mind and potentially implode. What use would you be to someone then?

The Truth About Male Role Models

Shane Ryan - Chief Executive, Working with Men

The Truth About Male Role Models

At our charity Working With Men, mothers and fathers have asked us whether there are particular times when their sons are more likely to seek out male involvement or approval. Research suggests that there are two periods when boys seem to be looking for male role models. The first is between ages two and four when they are learning the inherent differences between men and women. The second is between twelve and fourteen, as they seek to become more independent of their parents. At this second stage, boys instinctively think that men will understand them better than women.

But the very use of the term "role model" in this context raises some interesting questions that I cannot begin to address here because most of the wider world is in doubt as to what that term actually means. At Working With Men, we do a lot of work with boys at the second stage I mentioned, a time when they have transitioned from primary to secondary education. It's a new world where the reactions they get at school and the world beyond are changing. They are growing from small, cuddly boys into young men who can sometimes appear imposing to teachers and the wider public.

I Am An Adult, And I Am Unable To Swim

Scott Mann - Conservative MP for North Cornwall

I Am An Adult, And I Am Unable To Swim

This summer I had to deal with a situation, where I let my ego get in the way of my ability.

I spent the day with my friend and colleague Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View, who suggested we went to sea and spent some time at Cawsand in Cornwall on the beach.

Johnny moored the boat to the buoy off the beach and looked over to me and said: "Let's swim in."

I was ashamed to admit to my friend that I couldn't do it. I looked at the distance between the boat and the beach, working out that I only needed to get half way and I would be able to stand on the sand with my head above the water. I threw caution to the wind and jumped in.

Men Are Now Suffering From The Pressure To 'Have It All' Too

Ellen Wallwork - Senior Life editor, The Huffington Post UK

Men Are Now Suffering From The Pressure To 'Have It All' Too

Men in the UK are feeling the pressure to "have it all", according to newly published research.

The idea of "having it all" - ie. a successful career and family life - is one that has long been associated with women and has led to much debate about whether mums are trying to live up to impossible standards.

Now dads are hankering after the same unattainable ideals, according to research by men's mental health charity The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and The Huffington Post UK, which was released as part of the Building Modern Men campaign.

Men Twice As Likely To Feel Financial Burden In Relationships

Rachel Moss - Lifestyle writer, The Huffington Post UK

Men Twice As Likely To Feel Financial Burden In Relationships

Men are twice as likely to feel financial burden in a relationship than women, a critical report on the pressures facing men in 2016 has revealed.

While 31% of men feel they should be more responsible than their partner for financial matters, just 14% of women feel the same.

What's more, men are twice as likely to feel they must be "emotionally strong" and three times more likely to feel they must take "practical charge" in a crisis, than their female counterparts.

The Men Are Revolting

Anthony Lorenzo - Writer, copywriter, pontificator

The Men Are Revolting

Animal masculine display at its worst caused Brexit, and Trump (and the wars, and all the fights on Friday night, and ignoring global warming, and....) and its testosterone- fuelled tentacles inevitably ensnared women too, because that's what patriarchy does.

All Trump had to do to win was to expound a version of brash masculinity that people have been crying out for ever since it suddenly wasn't okay to keep slaves, or rape your wife, or sack someone for being black, or force a trans woman to use a male bathroom. The pushback against these tragically basic humanitarian principles has been spearheaded by white men who believe that other people having rights means they've somehow lost their own. Trump rode a fascistic wave that for some reason is being called Alt Right (all trite?), but that wave was also so virulently misogynist that even the most qualified woman on the planet to run America ( I mean, she didn't bomb enough people for these men to vote for her? Come on!) couldn't beat the man who loves America so much he wants to topple its economy. At least the usual US warmongering is to fill the American coffers.

Infertility: The Male Perspective

Shafali Talisa Arya - psychology researcher

Infertility: The Male Perspective

The underlying message behind these interviews is that men do wish to talk, it really is just as case of asking them how they're feeling or how they're coping with the trials and tribulations that encompass infertility. Another point that is worth mentioning, is the fact that infertility is as much a male problem as it is female.

Whilst researching men's experience to infertility, I came across a book written by someone who went through infertility and its treatments. Whilst there are many books looking into infertility, I found this book to be comical and incredibly honest.

'My Little Solders' by Glenn Barden really does encapsulate what its like for a modern man to ride the infertility carousel in the modern world. Without a shadow of doubt, I recommend this book to any man experiencing infertility, as it really does give you the most truthful insight into the experience.

Four Friends. For James. For Suicide Prevention

Harry Wentworth-Stanley and Rory Buchanan - one half of the #RowForJames team

Four Friends. For James. For Suicide Prevention

This Christmas, rather than spending precious time with our families and taking some much-needed time off, we will be attempting to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, battling sleep deprivation, 40-foot waves and trying to keep down bags of uninspiring rehydrated food. We will be rowing non-stop in two-hour shifts, 24 hours a day for 40-60 days. We will be totally self-sufficient, producing our own water and electricity, whilst carrying only our essentials on our seven-metre long boat.

If all goes to plan, we will arrive towards the end of January.

We are taking on this challenge in aid of the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund (JWSMF), a charity which was formed 10 years ago following the tragic death of our captain Harry's brother James.

People Say 'I'm A Man Now' - But I've Always Just Been Me

Lewis Hancox - Comedian and vlogger

People Say 'I'm A Man Now' - But I've Always Just Been Me
Lewis Hancox is a comedy writer, actor and YouTuber. Born female, Lewis transitioned as a teenager. As part of The Huffington Post UK's Building Modern Men series, Lewis vlogs on his journey, what 'being a man' means to him and why, in his words, "I've not gone from being a woman to man. I've just always been me."

How Do You Break The Stigma Attached To Mental Health In Young Men?

Andy Dunne - Chef, 24, from Cambridge

How Do You Break The Stigma Attached To Mental Health In Young Men?

Initially, I thought I was fine. I would walk to my friend's house, play football, hang out with my mates - all the usual routines. Then all of a sudden, I stopped. I would make excuses not to go out with friends unless they came to mine. No more football. No more hanging out. I just shut down.

My downward spiral continued for six months, progressively getting worse. I would leave my house only when I had to - for work or to go to the supermarket - and I would get my dad to drive me. In a matter of months, I went from a happy, outgoing, carefree teenager to a hermit.

I couldn't explain how I felt as the pain was too much. Even though I was suffering, I didn't realise I had a problem. Even my body was even telling me something was up - I would get heart palpitations, lose concentration, and my body would ache all over...

How Talking Helped One Man Overcome The Childhood Trauma Of Living In A Refugee Camp

Nitya Rajan - Video producer, The Huffington Post UK

How Talking Helped One Man Overcome The Childhood Trauma Of Living In A Refugee Camp

"I remember thinking if I commit suicide there's one less mouth to feed," Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz tells HuffPost UK.

In 2014, male suicide accounted for some 76% of all suicides. It is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

Talking to his best friend, Alex Beard, the 52-year-old men's coach recalls the trauma he faced as his family fled Uganda while it was under Idi Amin's rule.

I've Seen First Hand That There Is Nothing 'Un-manly' About Needing Help With Mental Health

Johnny Mercer - Conservative MP and former soldier

I've Seen First Hand That There Is Nothing 'Un-manly' About Needing Help With Mental Health

We are all formed by our own experiences. Growing up I was taught that mental health was not really a thing. "Stress" was a bit of a joke in my household; although looking back it would have been more helpful to recognise this earlier I think.

I carried these misguided views directly into the military - perhaps one of the most guilty parties when it came to talking about mental health. And perhaps in my early years of training before operations, it could afford to be. But combat changes a lot in people.

Men, Football and Therapy: A Trouble Shared

Steve Guy - Specialist bereavement counsellor

Men, Football and Therapy: A Trouble Shared

Clark Carlisle, former Burnley and Leeds defender tried to end his life after suffering from depression. Commenting on this he said: "I tried to commit suicide because I was incredibly unwell, but it's changed my life because I got incredible support..."

Men suffering with anxiety and depression then need safe passage from the darkness of mental and emotional ill-health, to the support they want, just as with any kind of physical illness; and whether footballer or fan, shown it's okay to talk and be listened to without feeling a sense of shame.

The City Working Culture Is A Microcosm Of Why Men Don't Talk About Their Mental Health

Karen Jackson - Director, didlaw

The City Working Culture Is A Microcosm Of Why Men Don't Talk About Their Mental Health

Everyone knows a story about a guy who had a blow out and never came to work again. He just disappeared overnight. "Mad" people are escorted from the building because if they cannot take the heat they must leave the kitchen.

Socially men are conditioned not to be open about feelings. The phrase "man up" says it all. It is not biological conditioning that causes this. It is the messages boys and men get from society. At a time of unparalleled inequality perhaps men are feeling they do not know their place in the world. Having mental illness is not OK.

Masculinity In The Digital Age

Lana McDonagh - Content coordinator, Ditch the Label

Masculinity In The Digital Age
A redefinition is in order. It is time we finally addressed these issues, looked after the mental health of future generations of young men and ditched these limiting, archaic stereotypes. Only then can we implement positive societal change and proactively reduce rates of bullying and crime, as we now know these to be interlinked.

Drag Queens Are The Toughest Boys Out There

Jodie Harsh - DJ and producer

Drag Queens Are The Toughest Boys Out There
Drag is having a major mainstream moment, spearheaded of course by the incredible royal highness RuPaul, but its roots are firmly planted in gay underground culture.

A lot of my work is in gay clubs, and I've noticed that whilst the big gay superbrands, dating apps, porn and and everything else that goes along with the homo-masculine ideologies push a somewhat warped version of bro-culture, there also seems to be a queering of gender that's growing more and more within other sides of the LGBTQ communities.

Stay Connected: This Is What We All Must Do

Joanne McCabe - Writer and homelessness worker

Stay Connected: This Is What We All Must Do

Following his death, I moved away from journalism to a career working with people experiencing difficulties like my brother. Approaching 11.11.16, the fifth year since he left us, I recognise increasingly that this was one way of tackling the guilt that comes with these things.

The key truth I have learnt, also via my own experiences of mental fragility, is that we each have to have the want to push forward, the hope of movement away from the darkness and terror. No one can do this for anyone else, like so many other things in this world it requires that we work at it. People and things can help, of course, but it's a choice we all ultimately make for ourselves.

Stay connected: this is what we all must do.

Why We Continue To Love Men With Mental Health Issues

Toni White - Thinker, writer, mental health survivor

Why We Continue To Love Men With Mental Health Issues

You're brought up being taught that as a man, you need to fix things; whether they're physical or mental issues. The problem comes when you are faced with a broken mind that can't be fixed with a hammer or a shot of whisky. It's no wonder so many of you are dying in silence each year.

If you're 45 years old and under, suicide is statistically more likely to cause your death than a car or motorbike accident. And yet, we're still telling you to toughen up. But here's what we're not telling you; we love you.

Despite your mental health issues, we love you. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

We Men Must Learn Our Emotions Are Not Our Enemy, And It's Okay To Not Be Okay

James McVey - Musician, guitarist of The Vamps

We Men Must Learn Our Emotions Are Not Our Enemy, And It's Okay To Not Be Okay
As men, we do not need to 'control our emotions' in order to be 'healthy and happy'. Our emotions are not our enemy. We should embrace them. In order to be truly happy and healthy we must first realise that it's okay to not 'be okay'. As humans, we should feel equal in emotion, for emotion has no gender. We should also be comfortable in acknowledging and accepting that emotion is normal.

As a man, I should feel free to express my feelings on my own terms, and not in a way that society wants me to. Only when we recognise and dismantle the societal gender constructs that still exist to this day, which inhibit how men express themselves, will we truly be able to effectively tackle the deeply concerning male suicide statistic.

Teaching A Modern Masculinity

Hannah Greaves - Blogger, student, mother, feminist

Teaching A Modern Masculinity
When I become a parent, being as young as I was, I don't think I had quite contemplated the depth of responsibility that I was walking into and the world in which my child would be entering. If the baby I was carrying was a girl she would face a world where women are still paid 72 cents to the American Dollar, where her place although no longer at home is still defined and debated by men and the government still insists own retaining ownership over her womb.

As it so happens he was born a boy, well in any case a child with male genitals and until he was able to tell me otherwise I would be raising a young man; one who would come to define modern masculinity in his own sense, but one who also required me teach him about the values of a modern masculinity.

I believe that it is our responsibility, of the millennials, to raise a new generation of children who are allowed to define a masculinity not based in traditions of physical strength, emotional toughness, duty, loyalty, honour, action

It's Good To Talk

Ant Meads - Writer who struggles to acknowledge himself as such

It's Good To Talk

When my mental health deteriorated to such a point that I had to stop work, the thing that caused me the most concern was not the sadness that was all consuming, it wasn't the anxiety that stopped me leaving the house for weeks, sometimes months at a time, it wasn't even the suicide attempt that followed. It was the feeling that I was letting people down. The feeling that I wasn't living up to society's expectations of a man. I felt I was bringing shame on my family, that I was letting down my wife. And all of that came about, less because of mental illness and more because of the way masculinity is framed in society.

This is why men struggle to talk about mental health, it's not that we don't want to, it's simply that we don't know how to. To truly break the stigma of mental health, we don't just need to encourage men to talk about their issues, we perhaps need to teach them how to. I wonder if as men we feel we have to have the answers for everything. That every problem is there to be resolved. Because if so, that's an impossible starting point for any conversation on mental health.

It's No Use Us Men Being Shy About Our Bits And Pieces - It Can Lead To Death

Michael Fabricant - Conservative MP for Lichfield

It's No Use Us Men Being Shy About Our Bits And Pieces - It Can Lead To Death
Years ago, we used to say "Most people die with prostate cancer, not of prostate cancer". But with longer life expectancy, that is no longer the case.

So here's the thing: it is no use men being shy about their bits and pieces. That can lead to death.

Get a well man check with your local GP and if you are one of the 36,000 Brits diagnosed each year with actual or potential prostate cancer, get it sorted.

And as with so many cancers nowadays, if it's detected early enough, you can be cured and go on to lead a normal and active life.

Why Don't We Talk About Our Erections?

Scott Manley Hadley - Bald hipsterpreneur and literary blogger

Why Don't We Talk About Our Erections?

It's 2016, and everyone overshares. There are no real secrets any more, we all know things about our friends and family that could get them fired, dumped, arrested or worse. But one thing I don't know - as a hetero man - is how big any of my friends' erections are.

I realised this a few days ago, when looking at my own engorged penis and worrying that it had - perhaps - gotten smaller. There was no one I could turn to - the only person who might have a chance of answering accurately is the only person I cannot ask: "Is my willy shrinking?" is not a question any man can ask his lover.

So: what to do?

Husband, I'm Sorry You Couldn't Cry

Poorna Bell - Executive Editor, The Huffington Post UK

Husband, I'm Sorry You Couldn't Cry
I'm sorry you felt the only way out was to take your own life. There is not a day, hour or minute, when I don't wish you back into existence, so I can kiss you and hold you and tell you again and again how things can get better. That being a man is so much more than being physically strong or holding down a job. That if you talked to your friends about what was wrong, they would listen gladly.

And that it's okay to cry, in fact, it's damn near essential that men are able to cry because no human being can hold stoic silence in the midst of all that life throws at you.

I'm sorry being a man killed you. And I'm just so sorry it is killing so many like you.

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

Andy Murray - Three-time Grand Slam-winning tennis player

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

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.

Why I'm Cycling From London To Amsterdam For Prostate Cancer UK

Les Ferdinand - Former England footballer

Why I'm Cycling From London To Amsterdam For Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate cancer affects 330,000 people in the UK, a staggering statistic. Think of a packed out Loftus Road and then imagine that almost 18 times over; those are the figures we are dealing with.

One in eight men in the UK will be affected by this disease in their lifetime, but as a black man my risk is even greater. One in four will be affected, and if there is a history of the disease in the family - like mine - those odds are even shorter.

I'll admit prostate cancer wasn't on my radar a decade ago; I knew nothing about it at all. Now I do. I lost my grandfather to prostate cancer and it's also affected other members of my family too. I'll be 50 in December, and need to set an example to my family and my peers, so I go and see my doctor every year without fail.

Time To Change Our Attitudes To Men And Boys

Jane Powell - Director of CALM

Time To Change Our Attitudes To Men And Boys

There's a gender element to suicide - and indeed to mental health. It leads me to ask again why we aren't pouring money into researching why we aren't funding research to explain why more men take their lives than women.

We know that men often behave differently from women when down or in crisis. Zooming out from suicide we see that drugs overdose, transport accidents, diseases of the liver (alcohol poisoning) sit up there with suicide as common causes of death for men. Men will behave recklessly, self-medicate on drugs or alcohol, and may even behave violently - and end up in prison. The ratio of men to women in jail is massive. It isn't just suicide where men's mental health feature, it impacts a host of behaviours.

Half Of Young Men Would Find It Hard To Talk To Their Dads About Mental Health

Brian Dow - Director of External Affairs, Rethink Mental Illness

Half Of Young Men Would Find It Hard To Talk To Their Dads About Mental Health
New research from Time to Change, the campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to change public attitudes towards mental health, shows that almost half of young men would find it difficult to talk to their dads about their anxieties, pressures or even depression. Around a third cited the fact that they didn't want to burden their father as the reason.

Our sons will be no lesser men and we no lesser fathers if we start by acknowledging our own difficulties, so that we normalise conversations around mental health in the same way we would consider it our duty as dads to encourage our sons to think and talk about good physical health.