Today we continue our series of articles to support Mental Health Awareness Week. Our Head of Social Media Jamie Shuttleworth shares his own experience of his struggles in his own words.

I was 15-years-old when I first self-harmed, and it has been seven months since my last relapse.

I know that might not seem like a long time to our readers, but it is something that I am incredibly proud of.

After all, when you live with depression and anxiety everyday of your life it can be difficult to push yourself through moments that can be mentally triggering.

It can be anything from anxiously reading a negative comment on a story, over-analysing what my friends said, stressing out about going into a busy shop or simply not feeling good enough in my job and struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

Living with depression is mentally draining.

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Many of you may have seen my face before on the Glasgow Times’ Facebook page reporting on live events in the city or raising awareness of our various community projects that we are involved in.

I like to think I come across as a confident and outgoing person - however, what you do not see is what goes on behind social media and away from groups of people.

I am 29-years-old, in a great relationship, I have close groups of friends and in a great job here at the Glasgow Times. I recently moved to the South Side and would fall into the category of a young professional who, on paper, has everything in order.

Life should be relatively plain sailing, right?

Well, as a young-ish man, I also fall into another, less spoken about, category, the number of men who tragically take their life each year. A category, which also features a number of young people who have taken their own lives in the South Side of the city.

Suicide is something I have also heavily contemplated on multiple occasions, and I am not ashamed to admit I have gone as far as writing out my goodbye note more than once.

At times, life can feel like it is not worth living - but it is important to remember that you are not alone and people do care about you.

I recall first going to see a psychiatrist in Ayr when I was 13 or 14 and it was not something I revisited until September 2019.

I have tried a whole host of anti-depressants, tried eating healthier, exercising more, reading self-help books and everything else that is suggested to you.

But one thing I did not do was talk about how I felt.

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That is what seemed to be the hardest and most terrifying thing to do, particularly for a young man where there is often a stigma about speaking about your mental health.

I have been told to ‘man up’ or to ‘get a grip’ more times than I care to remember.

But we as men need to speak up and admit that we are not okay.

Poor mental health is something that I have to cope with every day of my life, whether it is panic attacks, morning anxiety or feeling incredibly low.

But I have to fight through this and come out stronger as life is worth living - even though it might not always feel like it.

Before lockdown, I played five-a-side football two to three times a week and I was the captain of one of the football teams at university. Football is my passion and allowing myself time to follow it can only be positive for my mental health.

READ MORE: Mental Health Awareness Week: Glasgow family speaks out about Pollok dad’s suicide

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That is why it is important to do things for yourself. In my case, I have recently joined a Sunday league football team in the city called Glasgow Caledonian United. Being able to go to training, play matches and chat with other men will boost my mental health and give me something to look forward to each week.

So do not be afraid to be selfish with your time and do what makes you happy. Check up on your mates and ask how they are doing. If they just say ‘fine’, remember it is okay to say ‘are you sure?’ - because that might just be the nudge they need to open up.

As I am writing this, a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, just messaged me asking for my therapist’s details as he has been struggling too.

None of us should feel like we need to bottle up our emotions and speaking honestly like this is the only way we will break this stigma.

So let us all continue to fight this and try to break the stigma around men’s mental health.

If someone you know is struggling, here are some signs to look out for that show they might need help:

Feeling restless and agitated, angry and aggressive, tearful or being tired or lacking in energy

Not wanting to talk to or be with people or do things they usually enjoy, or finding it tough to cope with everyday things Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings, or talking about feeling hopeless, worthless or helpless, or feeling trapped

Not replying to messages or being distant.

It can be tricky to start a conversation but there are ways to get talking:

The Samaritans say it’s okay to ask someone directly if they’re suicidal as research shows this helps. If they are uncomfortable and don’t want to open up, that’s okay too - you’ve let them know you’re there for them.

If they do want to talk then really listen. 

Good listening involves giving the person your full attention, being patient and repeating things back to them so they know you’re paying attention.

Where to get help:

You can suggest the person goes to their GP for advice and support

SAMH gives mental health information and can direct you to local services. Call 0141 530 1000 or email

If you need to talk, call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or see

Families who need support after being bereaved by suicide can contact PETAL on 01698 324 502 or email

Call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email the charity at