ManDown is all about Mental Health & Suicide Prevention in Men.
It is the charitable element of what we do.
50p from the sale of every magazine goes into the ManDown kitty. We aim to grow this pot of money and, over time, allocate funds to community groups, charities and relevant organisations.
As soon as we hit £1,000, we’ll begin taking requests, and we’ll be looking for opportunities to start spending some ManDown money! We intend to make ManDown a registered charity – watch this space.
New Dads and mental health
- One in 10 men experience anxiety and depression symptoms in the first six months after the birth of a baby
- One in five will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy and the first year after birth
- Of fathers with depressed partners, 24% to 50% experience depression themselves
- The biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK is suicide. Studies have shown that fathers with mental health problems during the first year after birth are up to 47 times more likely to be classed as at risk of taking their own lives than at any other time in their life.
These figures are concerning, and it’s precisely this sort of thing that ManDown is addressing. We’re campaigning for more mental health screening for Men within maternity services and for there to be the right help and support in place to deal with an increase in referrals as they come through due to increased screening.
Dipti Tait, Hypnotherapist, Author, Transformational Coach
The reason I became a Hypnotherapist was because I needed therapy myself.
In 2011, I was in a very dark place. My life had just crumbled all
around me. I had lost both my parents to cancer, and as an only child – I
was plunged into horrible despair.
My marriage had broken down, and I had left my marital home with no job, no money, and two small children in tow. Many of my family who disagreed with me getting divorced stopped talking to me, and some of them cut me out of their lives.
I felt lost. I felt desperately alone. I believed I had no one to talk to or no one to turn to.
A few years prior, I had relocated with my then-husband and two small boys (who were 4 and 5) from my home city of London to the Cotswolds.
But, for me, it was like another wound in my life. A wrench away from everything familiar and safe to me. I missed my city life. I missed my friends. I had to start again with friendships. I was also shocked at the lack of cultural diversity in the Cotswolds.
I had been brought up with so many different types of people and cultures living in a West London council estate all my life. So arriving in a rural community of what I felt were “not my people” felt completely alien and threatening.
I felt so desperately alone, as well as unloved and unseen. I felt misunderstood. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know where to turn. And there was one point in my life where I remember lying on the bathroom floor, a cold tiled floor and just thinking, well, how can I end it? How can I end it?
The only thing that kept me going was that I had two boys to be a mum to. I thought I couldn't do this to myself, and I can’t do this to them. I’ve got to be an example to them. I've got to find a way out. I've got to find a way to stand up and find some internal strength within me to find some solutions and to figure things out.
I realised I was grieving. I was grieving my parents and the loss of my identity, the loss of familiarity, and my purpose. All the change I was going through overwhelmed me. It felt like my brain’s fuse box one day say ‘enough is enough’ and blew a circuit.
And that's how I found hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy saved my life.
That was the beginning of my therapy journey and practice. It was the real reason why I decided to become a hypnotherapist.
I wanted to lift myself up. I knew I had a choice to end it and press the escape button, but I chose the harder path. The route that has now made me realise that I am strong. I am capable, and I am bulletproof. I have found stuff inside me that I can always hold on to and use as my fuel.
Grief, the pain and the suffering have made me tough in many ways and softened me in a lot of ways. I can see other people – like my clients in the same desperate place like I was in – and I know it will be okay. I know that I can help them, and that is an utter privilege.
My journey as a Hypnotherapist has been such a positive part of my world. It is my whole world, and I love it so much.
I see many clients online on a weekly and monthly basis.
Through the pandemic, my practice numbers tripled because I was an online therapist already. In addition, I had the benefit and the luxury of having an established online business up and running. As a result, I saw three times the number of clients that I was used to.
I don't know why, but I seem to attract male energy, and roughly 70% of my clients are male.
Through the pandemic, I saw (this is a scary statistic) 104 cases who had either attempted to take their own life or considered taking their own lives. However, you'll be pleased to hear there is a happy ending - they are all still alive today.
That was a difficult time. 2020 was a difficult time in therapy.
Perhaps, therapy has got a bad reputation. Maybe some people think it sounds like a ‘cop out’ to go to therapy because it means there's something wrong with them. Or, they don’t want to admit that they're not coping - which means they're weak.
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All these things are such terrible myths.
I want to dispel these myths right now. It is not the way to think about therapy. We need to think about it this way…
You have somebody who's got your back; you have somebody who you can trust; you've got somebody who will listen to you, who won’t tell you what to do – instead, they will hear you, they will safely hold a space for you. So you have someone who will listen to you.
Also, you will feel supported. It is important to know that you have somebody you can talk to, who you trust, in a safe place. It’s also very nice to have that wall to lean on.
You are strong when you ask for help; it’s the most courageous thing you can do.
It doesn't matter who you are and what status you have or how much power or money you have or don’t have. We've all got a brain, and so we've all got mental health to consider. We all, therefore, have potential mental ill-health, a bit like our body. We all have physical health, and we have a possible physical illness.
We must treat our brain, mind, and body as one being and think of ourselves as a unit.
We must prioritise our mental and emotional well-being, and it's important to know that you are not alone. You are never alone, even if it feels like it.
It's okay not to be okay. But it's not okay to not ask for help. So please ask for professional help when you need it, and somebody will always help you.
You have the power within you to end your life or change your life. I chose to do the latter, and I want you to do the same.
Dipti Tait is a solution-focused hypnotherapist and a grief author. She has written two books, Planet Grief and Good Grief.
Planet Grief is coming out on 21st October 2021.