A YOUNG man from Ayr has taken it upon himself to speak openly and honestly about his battles with mental health.

Mikey Gilchrist, originally from Ayr, recently did a full sit down discussion with In My Unprofessional Opinion to discuss his recent and past battles with anxiety and depression.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems are a growing public health concern not just locally or in the UK but across the world.

Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major factor in the rate of suicide and ischemic heart disease.

On the back of this information from the Mental Health Foundation the published Scottish Public Health Organisation data states that males remain almost three times as likely to die by suicide than females despite the female suicide rate having increased since 2017.

Speaking about his mental health, Mikey said: “I’m not shy of sharing my experiences and as everyone is aware of particularly men’s mental health is at the forefront of the media’s attention.

“That’s because men notoriously don’t chat to each other about it, which is quite sad.”

He also spoke about his want to do the interview and and the stigma around men’s mental health.

He said: “I think considering it brave is part of the stigma, it shouldn’t be brave just to talk about your mental health.

“For me, I want to help men whether that be one man, 10 men or 100 men to open up and be able to talk.

“However, if there are any women out there that are going through any mental trauma or going through any mental health issues then I want them to be able to open up as well.”

One of the struggles for men specifically is due to gender stereotypes and cultural norms which is a part of the toxic masculinity term.

Because of this men are less likely to open up and often disregard their emotions due to a fear of being ridiculed by ‘friends’.

Mikey elaborates on this by saying: “There is this perception that if you’re in a group of lads that have grown up together and joke around with each other there is an automatic thought in your head that you’ll be ridiculed.

“I’ve suffered from this now twice in my life and I am really fortunate that I have a lot of friends that I have been able to speak to about this.

“I can guarantee that if you are struggling and you did open up then not one of them would make fun of you – and to be honest if they did, then they weren’t your friends to begin with.”

The full interview can be watched here: Colin and Mikey talk all about Mental Health