World Suicide Prevention Day

Every year on 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the complexities of suicide and how we can bring about change. Men are significantly more likely to die from suicide than women, so why is this happening, and what can be done about it?

Acclaimed man-guru Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz, Founder of the MenSpeak Men's Groups with 20 years of experience under its belt, has met many men who have attempted or contemplated suicide before MenCheck-in offered a lifeline. MenCheck-in offers daily mini-men's groups online for men to check in with how they are and what's up for them, launched on the day of the first lockdown to reduce the risk of men harming themselves or others. Kenny says that reasons for male suicide often stem from conditioning at a young age, where societal expectations demand men be mentally strong. He also highlighted that fear of unemployment, relationship breakdowns, PTSD and feelings of isolation trigger male suicide.

Men often internalise these emotions or use alcohol and substances to numb the pain. However, the latter can cause men to lash out and potentially harm others, or/and end up on a downward spiral with thoughts of harming themselves. Covid has exacerbated the problem. Nearly four in ten (38%) men surveyed by YouGov and Jacamo say they have noticed a negative effect on their mental health since going into lockdown in March 2020.


So, how do we help men help themselves?

One great lifeline for many men through the last 18 months has been the MenCheck-in online daily men's groups, the brainchild of Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz. It was back in March of 2020, just as the sight of the first lockdown appeared, that Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz set up the MenCheck-in groups after recognising that these sessions would become a key way to keep men sane and families safe during times of social isolation.

Over 500 MenCheck-in online group sessions have been attended thousands of times over the three lockdowns. They continue to help men become more able to deal with their displaced emotions by speaking things out rather than lashing out on others, or over-thinking and getting into depression, suppression, and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

"We aim at early prevention of mental health issues. If a man has nowhere to share the small stuff or 'just hang out' and speak things out - before he knows it, he, and those around him could be facing bigger problems down the line," Kenny said.

At these groups, men are empowered by listening to others who are going through similar situations, among peers, without navigating pecking orders, experts, bigots, or boisterous behaviour. With no pressure to speak and no one telling others what to do or how to fix their lives, men have a safe online space to hang out, be heard, and get real, taking the edge of their lockdown situations and often, against all odds, grow as self-aware, able men.

"The sessions allow men to be in the company of good men without the need to drink or be in the surroundings of a pub or pitch. There's no need to compete in a place where men can become more of who they are rather than who they feel they should be to be acceptable. Sessions are traditionally held in clinical rooms and swanky offices, but now, because MenCheck-ins happen online, it's much more personable. People feel more comfortable in their own surroundings and therefore safer and easier to share their feelings and explore their lives, their motives, and even their pasts," Kenny said.

MenCheck-in group regular Bertie Harriman-Smith (27) explains:

"The groups are essential for me for maintaining my sanity and remembering what life is about. I can chat, hang out, laugh, talk about real issues and feel connected in such a disconnected and chaotic time. I've checked in while I've been dangerously on the edge, and I've also shown up for good company with nothing in particular up at all."

Recently, MenCheck-ins big brother MenSpeak celebrated accreditation of all facilitation training sessions, meaning that anyone of any gender can become a group facilitator, and therapists can gain CPD points. Founder Kenny leads the training, often alongside some of his grads who have gone on to host WomenSpeak, DadSpeak, YoungMenSpeak, MatureMenSpeak, and so many other independent groups. Kenny loves to share the knowledge and experience gleaned from two decades, the world over, in facilitating groups.

Watch videos of online men’s groups:-

MenSpeak provides a safe space for men to support each other through difficult times

Watch An Unedited Online Men's Group

Check out Kenny’s Amazon no1 bestselling ebook "Online Men's Groups Success: A Step-by-Step Guide to Facilitating Personal Development Groups for Men number"

Find out more about Kenny and MenSpeak:

Listen to MenSpeak Radio on Spotify, Google Podcasts etc.






About The Man Whisperer

About The Man Whisperer Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz (dubbed The Man Whisperer by 'Newsweek') meets Covid-19 issues with daily groups since lockdown. He has facilitated men's groups for 20 years, worked as a personal development consultant for 30 years and trains men and women to effectively communicate with men. His groups take the edge of mental health issues, reduce suicide and domestic violence figures and empower men to communicate and contribute to their families, communities and be the change they want see in society. He has worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and his mental health / refugee story is available here


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