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Let's Talk, BOTL and mental health

bdc30

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Ok, so I know I'm going out on a bit of a limb here, but please hear me out.

Today, February 12th, has been designated as "Let's Talk" day up here in Canada. The focus is on men's mental health.

I was reading some statistics and it said that somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15% of men have issues with either depression, suicidal thoughts, mental illness or some other form of issue. Unfortunately, given our nature, these often go undiagnosed and untreated, as the stigma that is attached to 'asking for help' outweighs our desire to deal with the issues.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the membership of this site is approximately 99% male. If the statistics I read are even close to accurate, that means that on any given day, there are somewhere in the range of a hundred active brothers here who are having these types of problems.

What I would like to do is offer up this thread and/or my own time to help anyone who may fall in to this category. For those who don't know, I am a 911 dispatcher and through my line of work, end up talking to people with all types of issues on a daily basis. For ANY member here who feels they need someone to talk to, or wants to reach out for help, or just needs an ear to vent to about whatever issues they may be having, PLEASE feel free to send me a PM at any time day or night, or email me at brentclayton at gmail dot com. Do it anonymously if you feel more comfortable that way, but please, don't feel like there is no one that cares and you're all alone with whatever it is you're going through. I can't promise that I will always have all the answers, but what I can vow is the following. Your conversations with me will ALWAYS be 100% confidential, and not shared with anyone whatsoever.

Thanks for taking a few moments of your time to think about this issue.
Brent
 

bdc30

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Thanks for your kind words fellas. I really appreciate the support.

I've actually already had someone get in touch with me to offer to lend a hand in this thread. This brother has gone through some issues with alcoholism and has provided me with his contact information to pass along privately to anyone that may be going through problems with drugs or alcohol. If anyone would like to be put in touch with him, let me know.

Again, thanks so much guys.
 
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I applaud you and your effort/offering. That is definitely a limb you went out on but I hope it becomes a resource for those that don't know where to turn, have no where to turn or just have not felt comfortable or compelled to turn elsewhere
 

mwlabel

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Very cool thread, Brent :thumbsup:

Last year, this place was one of my saving graces through some rough times... and I'll always appreciate that.

It'd be really nice if more people were this openly supportive. I was shocked at the opposite reaction of my university this time last year... there were a number of suicides around campus. A few in the same spot, and I witnessed one of them. Instead of talking with students who saw it, heard about it, were considering the same thing... etc... They told us all to pay for the campus private counseling offered and told us to keep it quiet. They did everything they could to ignore it, and pretend nothing happened.
 

bdc30

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Wow, that's such a shame. Wouldn't want to scare off prospective (paying) students I guess by publicly acknowledging an issue with student suicides on campus :disappoin

Also, for anyone who contacts me, please make sure your pm box has room for me or whoever else to reply to you.
Thanks fellas.
 
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This is just another display of how great a person you are, Brent. Happy to have you as a friend and am looking forward to the next time we get to sit down and enjoy some sticks.

Your friend and brother,


Jeffrey L.
 

mdwest

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there were a number of suicides around campus. A few in the same spot, and I witnessed one of them. Instead of talking with students who saw it, heard about it, were considering the same thing... etc... They told us all to pay for the campus private counseling offered and told us to keep it quiet. They did everything they could to ignore it, and pretend nothing happened.
sadly, this seems to be the norm on college campuses in the US...

Ive got a buddy that used to be a campus cop at a very large university in the southeast...

guys on his squad were HIGHLY discouraged from making dope arrests.. rape arrests... or attributing anything to gangs or organized crime (University is in the heart of a very large metropolitan area) in any of their reports.. if they made dope arrests.. investigated rapes.. or referenced gangs publicly.. that meant the school had those types of problems to deal with.. and that was considered bad PR by the powers that be...

it was perfectly ok for them to write parking tickets, write tickets for violation of the loud music ordinance, and make the occasional public intox or DUI arrest within a couple of blocks of fraternity row though.. those were problems the university didnt mind admitting they had...

this is my alma mater BTW... it was a totally different place eons ago when I went there... today, there is no way in hell I would encourage any of my kids to attend there.. (although I am certain many, if not most, universities have similar circumstances)...
 

JuYcEmAn

¡Soy un esnob de Fuente!
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A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil

A very kind gesture given by a true BOTL...
 

AlohaStyle

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there were a number of suicides around campus. A few in the same spot, and I witnessed one of them. Instead of talking with students who saw it, heard about it, were considering the same thing... etc... They told us all to pay for the campus private counseling offered and told us to keep it quiet. They did everything they could to ignore it, and pretend nothing happened.
Very sorry to hear that man, I can only imagine the grief and helpless feelings that come with it. I believe you go to the U of MN right? Terrible for them to shut you up like that and not offer any support...
 

Soundwave13

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Often it helps to just know that you're not alone. I've dealt with depression and addition my whole life. Fortunately I've not needed clinical assistance for depression and I've managed to stay free from alcohol and drugs for almost 13.5 yrs. This time of year is typically a bit rough for a lot of people: cold months with less sun, not to mention the tighter finances from the holidays or the few extra pounds... I don't hide my thoughts, take time for some relaxation with a cigar, plan some goals, take steps toward them, eat healthy, get some exercise, these 'tools' all help or remove those depressed feelings when I use them. It all starts with convincing yourself that you're worth it. Some days that's tougher to do than others.
Great thread idea!! I've been toying with the idea of starting a 12-stepper group for years also. I just don't know that I have the time to administer it. That said - I'm always able to make time for someone in need of immediate help! There are many others here who have gone through struggles with depression, addiction and a host of other issues. If anyone thinks they are alone in this: know that you are not alone!
:thumbsup:
 

bdc30

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Just an awesome response thus far guys - I really appreciate the openness and sharing of everyone's experiences. I've also since had another couple guys message me offering to help out with specific issues that they've gone through in the past, so I've quickly amassed quite a list of people to help out if anyone needs. I always knew the brotherhood here was strong and supportive, but I think even I may have underestimated to what extent.
 

Jfire

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The one thing we can all do is check up on one another. Wether it be here or thru a text or phone call. Ty for doing this B2
 
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Unfortunately, those statistics are grossly under-reported. I have yet to meet a man who did not struggle with depression, anxiety, or have some kind of suicidal ideation at some point in their life, especially around change-of-life events or relationships; if someone says otherwise I'd say they're either mistaken or it just hasn't hit close enough to home yet. I applaud and commend you for reaching out to other brothers publicly, and sincerely hope that those who are debating contacting you follow through and take the chance. :thumbsup:
 
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A True BOTL! This is just so awesome to see. Such honest support and willingness to help one another. Gives me hope in this cold, cruel world! Bravo, brother. Seriously! I'm brand new around here but this goes for me too, I'm willing and ready to listen/help/vent/etc for anybody who needs to get something off their chest, or support, or anything! We all deal with thousands of situations each month and the ability to come here and vent, or cry, or yell or whatever is vastly more important that most people would really think.

I tell you, again I am new here but this forum surprises me each and everyday with utmost generosity, warmth and true brotherhood. Bravo to all.
 

Red Raider

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You guys are the illustration of what a brother should be... I commend and sincerely thank you!

I speak from experience... it is extremely difficult to rely on others for help especially on an emotional level. Everyone needs an outlet an I pray that anyone needing help will seek advice and some awesome brothers have offered. I have come to this site more times than I can count as an escape, a way to find joy in others successes, or to just learn a little bit about someone or something... we should all feel blessed to be part of such a great thing...

Thank you again

Phil
 
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