Excerpt from the website of the THE MOVEMBER FOUNDATION:
Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent.
click for more information:https://uk.movember.com/get-involved/moustaches
Below is an excerpt from the Sun Newspaper online 22nd Oct. 2018:
PAUL MCGREGOR’S MISSION IS TO STOP OTHERS LOSING A DAD, BROTHER OR SON TO SUICIDE
We asked Paul to write a letter to his Dad to encourage other men to open up about their feelings. In association with Movember.
WE were always a close family. Mum and Dad were childhood sweethearts and only two years separate me and my older brother, Steve.
There were no signs at first that Dad would have a breakdown. Over time, however, he changed from a hardworking, loving family man into a person who felt the only solution to his mental pain was to take his own life.
During the last six months of his life he kept himself busy – as if he was running away from things. He was on antidepressants, but I didn’t realise how serious it was.
We all tried to talk to him, but he’d deny there was a problem. Then on March 4, 2009, we lost him forever.
Life after Dad was hard. I was only 18.Inside I was hurting, but on the outside I played the macho man. Two years later, I realised I was just existing. I was tired all the time.
I was diagnosed with depression, but ignored it. I tried counselling, but it didn’t work for me.
My biggest fear was that I’d end up like Dad. I’d read that people bereaved by suicide have a higher risk of taking their own lives.
Then Amy and I started dating. I had back problems so she suggested I see a holistic therapist that she knew – Ann.
At my third visit I broke down in tears and told her everything about Dad and my own suicidal thoughts. Talking to Ann over the years has helped me massively.
I had a lot of guilt as I believed that I should have done more. Now I’ve learned to forgive Dad – and myself.
Paul’s letter to his Dad
I went for a run through the woods with the boys on Sunday.
They’re growing up fast. They are nine and two now. They keep me on my toes every day.
Fatherhood is scary at times, but I’m not worried. I am so lucky to have learned from you. I know you would have loved to have been a grandad.
I know you’re watching down on us all. Mum and Steve too. I just wish you knew how loved you were.
It’s nearly been ten years since you took your own life, and I just wish you were here with us.
You’ve missed so much. I’ll be raising money and standing up to suicide for Movember this year in your honour.
A couple of years ago I started talking about Dad on on social media. I receive messages every day from people saying that they don’t feel so alone any more.
When I was asked to write a Letter To My Dad for a Movember video, it meant sharing my vulnerabilities. It’s very hard for a lot of men to open up and talk about their feelings, but I don’t ever want my children to suffer in silence.
That’s my drive and always will be. I joined up to the campaign because I want to be part of something that reaches out and talks to men.
I‘ll be growing a moustache for Movember this year and encouraging all my friends to donate too, because the work the organisation does is so important.
To get involved, sign up at Movember.com.