Husband-to-be, Matthew Oliver, 28, was found dead at the home he shared with his partner, Lauren Clarke. At the inquest on Tuesday, Ms. Clarke gave an account of events leading to his suicide death.

She told Manchester hearing:

“I lived with Matt and on July 3, we had a family BBQ at our home and we had a disagreement, so I went to my friends. When I came back, we continued arguing and he raised his fist towards me, so I called his Mum. He tried to grab my phone, and I found it threatening. He did it because I wasn’t talking to him – I didn’t want to argue.
After that, he went outside at about 9:30 pm. The only contact after that was when I rang his Mum and we were put in a three-way conversation. He came back to the house at about 10 pm. I basically said ‘let’s leave it and talk tomorrow’ and we both had a drink. I then went upstairs and brushed my teeth and then came back downstairs and he was having a cigarette.”

She told the Manchester Court that she was prompted to throw her engagement ring at him when he ‘raised a hand’ to her and tried to grab her phone.

When she woke up the following morning, she was surprised to see his car was still outside, as he was due to start work. After she found him hanging, she called his mum immediately and placed a call to 911 but when paramedics arrived 10 minutes later, she was told that he was dead [1].

Speaking after the hearing, Matthew’s mum, Dawn Ockerby, said she hoped to set up a foundation in her son’s name to encourage young men to speak about their mental health [2].

Men And Mental Health
The World Health Organization, (WHO), defines mental health as [3]:

“…a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Mental health problems are not gender-specific. Statistics reveal that women are more likely to be treated for a mental problem than men. This may be because, when asked, women are more likely to report symptoms of common health problems.

The reluctance of men in seeking help can be attributed to traditional notions of masculinity that emphasizes doggedness and strength. In order not to be labeled as ‘weak’, men who are suicidal are more likely to suffer in silence than seek help, but this should not be so [4].

Solution
When confronted with issues affecting their mental health, men must realize the need to seek professional help. Seeking help should not be considered as a weakness – rather- as a true sense of character.

References:

  1. Man whose fiancĂ©e threw engagement ring at him hanged himself hours later“, Mirror. May, 2019.
  2. A mother whose son took his own life is urging other struggling young men to talk about their mental health“, Manchester Evening News. May, 2019.
  3. What is mental health?“, Medical News Today. August, 2017.
  4. “Men’s Mental Health: A Silent Crisis”, Psychology Today. February, 2017.
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