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Jamal Edwards: Why I'm supporting International Men's Day

image copyrightGareth Cattermole

It's International Men's Day on 19 November.

The day has been celebrated each year since 1999 in order to highlight issues affecting men such as mental health and family life.

But it doesn't come without controversy. The University of York have decided not to mark the day because it "does not combat inequality".

On Twitter some people have made fun of the day.

Others say it shouldn't exist at all.

Jamal Edwards, entrepreneur and SBTV founder is supporting the event.

Why should people celebrate IMD?

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionJamal Edwards received an MBE earlier this year for services to music

People aren't aware of it, says Jamal.

"I never even knew there was an International Men's Day until I found out quite recently," he tells Newsbeat.

"There's Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas Day and birthdays and I think IMD should have the same awareness as those."

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March each year.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45

Rapman has collaborated with Jamal and SBTV to make a video highlighting the issues surrounding male suicide.

Over three quarters of all suicides are by men.

This is something that's affected Jamal's life.

"Two of my friends took their lives, within a short space of time, and that made me think [it's because] these guys aren't talking about their problems and whatever they are going through."

He says the issues desperately need more attention.

Why are you getting involved?

"With power comes great responsibility so I just felt, with a large following of young men, what could I do to create awareness around the subject," Jamal explains.

"One thing I want is for people to talk about it more.

"The biggest thing I've realised is people feel scared they can't say what's going on with their lives.

"Whether it's to do with them being depressed or mental health problems."

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Related Topics

  • Life
  • Mental health
  • Men's health

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