Thousands of people have taken to Facebook and Twitter for the #ITSOKAYTOTALK selfie campaign. The campaign was led by Luke Ambler, a 26-year-old Halifax rugby player who was distraught when in April of 2016, his brother-in-law died by suicide. The campaign has now been revived and the selfies are going viral once more.

The campaign encourages men to share a selfie with the OK sign and nominate more people to continue to so this afterwards. Each individual also writes the following with their image:

#ITSOKAYNOTTOBEOKAY

The single biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide. In 2016, there were 5668 recorded in Great Britain. Of these, 75% were male. This is a subject so close to my heart and it means so much that people are taking time to raise awareness.

41% of males who’ve contemplated suicide felt like they could not talk about their feelings.

Only a small percentage of people know that suicide is the most likely cause of death for men under 45. Let’s show men anywhere and everywhere that it’s ok to talk!

Take a selfie with a👌and let’s spread the word. #itsokaytotalk

Sometimes it feels like society says you should be always happy, and that showing your sadness is a sign of weakness. This is far from true – if you were to hold in all your sadness or anger you would explode. 

We all have good and bad days. No one can be perfectly happy all of the time, that is not human. One day you feel on top of the world, the next you are down.

For those who are struggling with mental illness and/or grief, dealing with this pressure to always seem happy can be even more challenging, as a lot of days are low. Sometimes when we are feeling down, we put on a mask to hide the darkness that lies behind the smile. Getting out of bed can be a major task by itself.

With depression, at times, there is no apparent reason for why you are feeling this way. When it feels as though a cloud is hanging over our heads, those are the days we push people away the most. We do this because it is easier to try and forget about what is going on and not bother others with our problems. But getting through your problems and ignoring your problems are two completely different things.

Whether that is talking to someone about what is going on, finding answers to what is causing that emotion, or using coping skills such as drawing, yoga, mindfulness, and so many other healthy ideas, there are ways to help you get through the bad days. It’s okay to feel down.

Here are 3 tips for those days when you feel trapped:

Try to be social: This can be very hard, especially if you don’t want others to know what is going on but it can help. This could be as simple as starting a small conversation with your friends, teachers, family, or anyone else.

Use coping skills: The list of coping skills could go on for pages and they are unique to each individual. Some healthy coping strategies include journaling, colouring, playing a sport, going on a run, yoga, deep breathing, and so many more. Once you find a few or maybe even just one it can help tremendously.

Let yourself feel: When a low day hits that doesn’t mean you have to shut out what you are truly feeling inside. While this may be uncomfortable at times, acknowledging your feelings can help you move through them.

Remember you are not alone and you are not bothering others: Everyone in life has problems. That doesn’t mean you are adding to another person’s own problems if you share how you are feeling. 

You are not a burden.

The journey of life is filled with ups and downs, which is what shapes us into the people we are. When you’re having a bad day or a good day, remember that people do care about you, you are here for a reason, and the world would not be the same without you.

Source: http://youmatter.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/