Keenan Atkins

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Keenan says he’s completely happy to talk brazenly about his melancholy

When melancholy hit Keenan Atkins in early secondary college, he was scared to speak to his father about it.

Males of his dad’s era are afraid to speak about their emotions in case they’re seen as “weak”, he says.

And this appears a typical expertise for teenage boys, with 49% telling a survey they might really feel uncomfortable speaking about psychological well being with their dads.

A 3rd of boys additionally instructed the survey, for the Time to Change marketing campaign, their fathers don’t speak about “emotions”.

The ballot of 1,000 16- to 18-year-olds suggests greater than 1 / 4 of younger males of this age expertise psychological well being signs on a weekly foundation.

The analysis aimed to make clear how teenage boys’ personal attitudes to psychological well being are influenced by their fathers’ behaviour.

‘Generational variations’

Keenan, who’s now 18, mentioned: “My dad and I are each fairly naturally introverted individuals so we discover it troublesome to kind shut relationships.

“This has made it troublesome to open up to one another about what we’re going by.”

He added: “His era did not get the prospect to discuss their emotions and they’re afraid that in doing so that they may be seen as weak.”

Although Keenan’s father himself had suffered from melancholy, nonetheless felt unable to speak brazenly with him.

“I’ve a worry that he’ll attempt to discover different explanations as to why I’m feeling unhappy, relatively than melancholy.

“Solely as a result of he has been by it and would not need me to expertise the identical.”

‘Damaging cycle’

Nevertheless, the survey prompt that when fathers had inspired their sons to be open about their psychological well being, 70% of youngsters had been comfy sufficient to take action.

The psychological well being consciousness marketing campaign, run by charities Thoughts and Rethink Psychological Sickness, mentioned the findings confirmed that younger males take cues from their fathers in relation to their attitudes in direction of psychological well being.

Jo Loughran, interim director on the marketing campaign, mentioned: “We need to encourage all dads to speak extra brazenly in order that if and when their sons do develop psychological well being issues, they are often extra supportive of them.

“If we are able to break the adverse cycle of males feeling unable to talk out, we are able to create a brand new era of males who now not really feel remoted, ashamed and unable to succeed in out for the assistance that they, and everybody round them, must efficiently handle their psychological well being.”