#ITSOKAYTOTALK Is Giving Blokes A Chance To Open Up About Mental Illness

Have you seen mates on your Facebook feed uploading pics of themselves chucking up a symbol with the hashtag #ITSOKAYTOTALK?
Chances are, you have. 
‘Cos the trend is going bloody bananas.

So what’s it all about, and how did it start?
Back in April, Irish Rugby player Luke Ambler was dealt the devastating news that his brother-in-law had taken his own life. 
The loss motivated Ambler to create a Facebook page called Andy’s Man Club, which acts as a forum to get men talking honestly about any and all emotional issues they’re dealing with. He also got the hashtag #ITSOKAYTOTALK up and heaving on Twitter, which is all in conjunction with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) that offers support to men with mental health issues.
Even ya boy Prince Harry, a fervent supporter of conversations around mental health, has hopped aboard.
Suicide is the single biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the UK, so the hashtag and what it represents is pretty damn important. Along with the selfie, many blokes have shared their stories with their Facebook friends. And knowing how many randoms a lot of us have, that’s pretty brave.
The more we talk, the more the stigma recedes. 
And for the few cynical folks out there who reckon “it’s just a selfie, wot is it even doing to actually help the cause?!” – only last month it was reported that the funds that poured in from 2014‘s similarly-viral ‘Ice Bucket Challenge‘ lead to a huge scientific breakthrough. 
And that’s ace.
Photo: Ainsley Harriott.