Rapper Professor Green has made a BBC film about his fathers’ suicide to increase awareness of suicide as the biggest killer of men aged 20-45 and raise funds for male suicide prevention charity, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.
He told the BBC: “Despair. It’s a powerful feeling, when your heads in a state it’s easy to feel like you are the only one in the world who’s suffering.”
Green talks about the difficult relationship he had with his dad, how at 18 they stopped talking, but then five years later he tried to arrange a meeting, but they ended up arguing and the last words he said to his dad were “I hate you”.
‘Suicide consumes everyone around that person’
He says: “The terrible thing is, I never got to see him, because a few months later he killed himself. The moment I found out my dada had taken his own life is still as clear today as it was the moment it happened.
“I kept wondering why no-one had seen it coming, I still find it quite hard to articulate how I felt. It’s been six years since it happened and weird thing about grieving is that it never stops.
“Suicide is now the biggest killer of men aged between 20 and 45 in the UK. Bigger than heart disease, bigger than road accidents and bigger than murder.
“The pain of a suicide ripples out to consume everyone around that person.
‘I still don’t know what was going through dad’s head’
“Communication can be a big problem between men. We don’t like to talk about our issues, we think it makes us look weak, or we think we can sort it all out ourselves.
“I still don’t know what was going through my dad’s head when he killed himself and I never got a chance to say a proper goodbye or tell him that I loved him.
“I wish there had been someone he felt he could have confided in or reached out to. That’s why I’m part of a campaign called CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably – an important charity that works hard to help prevent male suicide.”
The film also features comedian Jake Mills, who tells the story of his own attempted suicide and the story of the Stringer family who lost their musician son Hector when he was only 18 years old.
In 2013 6,233 people took their own lives in the UK, 4,858 of these were men. The film is available on BBC iplayer here.
Photo courtesy: Cristian Stefanescu