By PAUL MURRAY
Put simply I don’t want anyone, especially young blokes to think they are ever that alone.
I was moved by a study by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre that has found one in 10 young men under 25 has contemplated suicide.
The research also shows 40 per cent lived with psychological distress, half have trouble with stress and 40 per cent suffer with body image issues.
Understandably we’ve done lots of great work helping the women we love with all sorts of problems. I wanted to offer that hand to young men and the response has been quite moving.
The truth for men and women alike is while life can kick you in the arse, over and over again.
But you are not alone. I promise.
It was important for me to speak out about this heartbreaking issue, and you can watch and read below the message that I shared on-air last night during Paul Murray Live.
If you cannot listen to Paul’s moving statement on video, you can read it here:
Now today there were major changes in rules to the Labor Party, there was more back and forth about the Papua New Guinea solution, there was even whinging and carrying on about the Ashes result.
But I wanted to talk to you about something that truly matters. There was a report today that barely made a ripple in the news and it’s a real shame.
It’s a report about how thousands of young Australian men are very upset. They’re nervous, and way too many of them want to take their own life.
In fact, 1 in 10 up to the age of 25 are seriously thinking about it. Now that’s not a number worth dismissing, it’s a number worth talking about.
Now I want you to have a look at some of these stats that have come out as a result of this particular finding. You can see there that there are huge numbers when it comes to stress, body image, and sense of self. The issues once you actually go in and have a look at those that are between say 20 and their mid twenties, the numbers are just as scary.
I just wanted to show you these numbers because it scares me right to the core that there are thousands of young blokes who feel alone, thousands of young blokes who feel that someone is letting them down. Now I don’t know who it is, I don’t know what the solution is, but I can sure see a problem when you see numbers like that.
Our national conversation today quite rightly was on far sexier and easier things to cover like reforms to the Labor Party, Papua New Guinea, and a royal baby on it’s way. But there are people amongst us who are hurting. Our mates, our kids, our nephews. Please reach out to young people who you know that are in trouble.
And if you yourself are a young person in trouble can I give you this message as somebody who has understood the difficulties that you’ve been through. There is always someone who cares about you. It might be somebody who you only barely know, but they will be the person who you need to talk. The world well and truly will miss you. You are not alone.
It might be a tough life that’s in front of you, but it is a life worth living. Wherever you are, reach out. Reach out for help, call Lifeline, talk to a mate, talk to mum, talk to dad, jump on the internet and find the positive people who will reinforce you because life is worth living.
As I said, it can be tough. Damn tough. It can break you in half time, and time, and time again. But you’ve got to think about the joy of a sunrise or a sunset. You’ve got to think about the big smile and the huge laugh of a fun night out. You’ve got to think about the joy of someone telling you a joke.
These all don’t seem like much when you’re at the bottom of your barrel but I promise you, that’s the stuff that’s worth living for. That’s the stuff that you need to live for. And that’s the stuff that we can’t wait to have you around for. So please remember, you are loved, you are not alone.
Paul Murray is a broadcaster on Sky News and 2UE in Sydney.
You can (and should!) follow him @PMOnAir on Twitter.