Scotland's homegrown charity, Brothers in Arms, embodies a modern approach to a timeless issue: reducing male suicide. This mission, urgent and commendable, addresses a challenge affecting countless individuals and families across the globe.
The statistics are sobering: approximately 75% of all suicides are male, making it the leading cause of death for men under 45. Undeterred by these difficult numbers, Brothers in Arms is committed to altering this narrative.
Recognizing the pivotal role technology can play in supporting men's mental health needs, Brothers in Arms champions digital solutions. The charity strategically directs its resources towards digital tools aimed at enhancing mental wellbeing and funds research to optimize these technologies' use by men and their allies.
Key to their approach is providing free support when desired—not just needed—empowering individuals seeking help on their terms without pressure or stigma. Operating as a self-referring platform offering complimentary digital therapy tools—no doctor referrals required—they create an accessible resource for those needing it.
Please note, they are not a crisis service - if you're experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or taking your life, contact your GP or Samaritans immediately on 116123.
As a self-funded charity receiving numerous donations from those touched by male suicide, Brothers in Arms is dedicated to utilizing these emotionally charged contributions as effectively as possible. Their lean operation ensures that most funds raised directly support Scottish men pursuing mental fitness.
The guiding principle at Brothers in Arms is 'Prevention through self-management'. They firmly believe that help should be offered before reaching crisis point—not after—and equip men with tools for managing their mental wellbeing autonomously.
The success of this strategy isn't theoretical—it's tangible. Over 2000 men currently use their digital therapy platform with an additional 3000 users engaging with the support content.
Whatever you perceive Brothers in Arms to be—a project, a charity—their mission is undeniably transformative. By leveraging technology and encouraging prevention through self-management strategies, they are making a positive impact on male mental health and suicide rates among men under 45.
For more information about our digital wellbeing tool click the link here: Blethr
In the UK, mental health support for men encounters a complex labyrinth of challenges. The societal notion of masculinity often stands as an intimidating gatekeeper, discouraging men from seeking help for fear of appearing weak or imprudent. The prevalent societal norms continue to idolize stoic traits, inadvertently silencing those who grapple with psychological distress.
Historically and culturally ingrained expectations have left men feeling cornered when it comes to expressing their struggles with mental health. Our society still struggles to accept that even the strongest pillars can crack under pressure, and that men - just as much as women - can be victims of depression or other psychological troubles.
However, at Brothers in Arms, we believe that the key to addressing this crisis lies in empowering individuals themselves. Our strategy is keenly focused on 'Prevention through Self-Management.' We strive to shatter the misconception that seeking therapy and wellbeing support is incompatible with manhood by creating a safe space where they can explore these resources on their terms.
In 2017, we embarked on this path despite scepticism echoing around us; naysayers believed that getting men to engage with their mental health was an uphill battle. Undeterred by these doubts, we adopted a forward-thinking approach: instead of expecting men to break their silence about mental health struggles voluntarily, why not arm them with digital tools they can utilize anonymously at any time?
Today Brothers in Arms stands as a digital beacon guiding men towards self-guided information access and therapeutic aid - all confidential and free-of-charge. This autonomous platform has enabled over 2000 individuals so far in managing their emotional well-being adeptly.
We are not just another project or charity; instead, we envision ourselves as architects designing bridges towards better mental health among UK's male population using modern technology's potentiality.
Suicide, unfortunately, claims more male lives under the age of 45 in the UK than any other cause. Our mission at Brothers in Arms is to change this grim reality. We equip men with digital tools and resources to manage their mental wellbeing proactively, providing a private, confidential space where they can explore their feelings without judgement.
Our digital therapy services are available around the clock - be it at 2 am or 2 pm. We don't wait for distress signals; instead, we believe in proactive prevention through self-management. After all, throwing a lifebuoy when someone's already drowning is hardly as effective as teaching them how to swim before they plunge into deep waters.
Brothers in Arms functions on a self-funding model and depends heavily on donations - many from those who have been personally touched by male suicide. We understand that these contributions are not just financial support but also embody immense emotional investment.
Thus we pledge efficiency and optimal utilization of funds so that maximum resources can be channelled towards aiding men manage their mental health effectively using our digital services. Our volunteer-based structure combined with our reliance on digital technology keeps operational costs minimal while maximizing benefits for those who need it most.
In conclusion, we believe that every man deserves a safe space to express himself without judgement or fear - where he feels empowered rather than weak when seeking help for his mental health. Brothers in Arms strives towards making this vision a reality for every man across Scotland and beyond.
Brothers in Arms came into existence as a spark of an idea that took flight in 2017 when we launched as a platform aimed at representing men in Scotland. We initiated conversations about suicide rates among males under 45 — a leading cause of death for this demographic group in the UK — not due to warfare, diseases, or accidents but suicide.
This stark reality brought us face-to-face with a societal issue: Men reaching points of extreme despair where they see no alternatives but drastic actions.
We decided it was time for change. Under the leadership of Dan Proverbs (founder), Martin Smith, and Rob Booth (website realization experts), with Duncan Cowles (storyteller & film producer), Brothers in Arms took shape.
With further collaboration from Neil Fogarty's and Ian McLaren Wallace's technical and psychological expertise, and after three years of research and development, we launched our own in-house men’s mental wellbeing support service called Blethr in September 2023.
We are run by volunteers which enable all raised funds to be directed towards our support services. The utilization of digital technology along with films & social media allows us to reach across Scotland's diverse landscapes. As we move forward on this journey, our sights are now set on devising strategies for extending our supportive hands across all corners of the UK and beyond.