Liam Casey, 20, from Rochdale, has seen his plea for men to seek help go viral online
A student’s tweet which urged others with mental health problems to speak out - rather than ‘man up’ - has gone viral.
Liam Casey, who says he nearly took his own life earlier this year, was overwhelmed with support after sharing details of his own battle with depression ahead of World Mental Health Day.
The 20-year-old from Rochdale tweeted: “Nearly two months ago I was told to ‘man up’ and a month ago I was in hospital after trying to take my own life. Don’t f****g man up. Talk.”
It was retweeted a staggering 50,000 times in just one day and has been ‘liked’ more than 185,000 times.
Liam told the M.E.N he has been inundated with messages from others praising him for speaking out and asking for advice on their own problems.
“Not just how many people have seen it, but the number of people who’ve messaged me saying they’re having similar problems and asking for advice.
“I’ve had literally hundreds, it’s been really overwhelming, especially just from something I wrote off the cuff like that. If even one person gets help because of it, it will have been worth it.
“It shows the power and the force for good the internet and Twitter in particular can be.”
He posted the message ahead of World Mental Health Day - which provides a global forum for discussion and solidarity over mental health issues - on October 10.
Talking to the M.E.N, Liam, who began suffering with depression this summer, revealed someone had given him the ‘advice’ urging him to ‘man up’ in the weeks leading up to the attempt on his life, early in September.
The history and politics student at Salford University said: “Someone said it to me at a party. It’s so commonplace, I think they were trying to help. But at the time I thought it was unhelpful and looking back now I can see it is absolutely the worst advice.
“There’s such a stigma around not only mental health but men expressing their feelings, expressing love and emotion. And I know it’s hard. I’m normally a really good talker but when I was at my lowest I was finding it so hard to express, or even make sense, of what was in my head.
After the attempt on his life, Liam opened up to his mum and sought help first from his GP in Littleborough who he says went ‘above and beyond’ before referring him to specialists.
He said: “They put me on anti-depressants straight away but also encouraged me to talk to people, to my family and also my friends. And I just feel so much better. It feels like a huge weight and a burden has been lifted from your shoulders.”
Huge music fan Liam now plans to stage a benefit night to raise money for mental health charities.
He is also beginning the mammoth task of replying to all those who reached out to him as a result of his tweet.
“I’ve had so many the hardest thing is going to be replying to all of them but I’ll do my best, because I know how important just a small message like that can be.”
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Childline (0800 1111 ) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029 ) helps people who are struggling to cope - experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis. You can call them between 8pm and 6am every night.