As a part of an Australian awareness campaign, Soften the FCK up created a video of a number of young men talking about their struggles and what those struggles led them to contemplate: suicide.
The simple video, which was shot in black and white, has a couple of young men talking about when they were pushed so far as to try and take their own lives. They explain their lowest points, (when one of them came out to family and friends and was in an abusive relationship, and when another didn’t have a job or any job prospects) and how they got themselves out of those low points.
The videos biggest message is the title of the campaign: men need to soften the fck up. Each and every man in the video said that they started to get better when they spoke about their problems, and when they opened up. “Tough guy is a guy that can admit that he has a problem,” one of the men explained. “That can admit that he’s depressed, that he’s got a problem…and that he’s trying to fix it.”
According to their website, 80% of the suicide rate is men between the ages of 14-44. That means that five men a day kill themselves in Australia. Soften the FCK up is a movement to try and prevent that many lives from being taken, and they are attempting to ‘undefine’ masculinity. They see a problem that men see it as easier to take their own lives, instead of asking for help when things get too hard for them to handle.
The importance of removing the stigma that surrounds guys talking about their feelings is crucial to this initiative, and that sitting down and talking with your mates about your issues shows strength and bravery. Their goal is to try and eliminate suicide among young men in Australia, and their research says starting a conversation is the best way to do that.