Last week Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett took to the octagon at UFC Fight Night and convincingly submitted his opponent two and a half minutes into the second round. He then proceeded to hilariously teabag his opponent. You would think the fighter would have left the octagon to laughs and cheers, maybe boos from the other camp, but instead Paddy left in tears after a heartbreaking victory speech.
You probably saw the video shared on social media. Paddy dedicated the fight to his friend back home who took his life a couple of nights before the fight. He urged men to talk if they had problems, or felt overwhelmed, or just needed a friend. You probably saw the video and shared it.
Brane shared a post on Instagram: “Thank you Paddy Pimblett @theufcbaddy for making such an important statement on such…
“Listen, if you’re a man and you’ve got weight on your shoulders and you think the only way you can solve it is by killing yourself, please speak to someone. Speak to anyone.”
“People would rather… I know I would rather have my mate cry on my shoulder than go to his funeral next week. So please, let’s get rid of this stigma. Men start talking.”
You probably saw the video and shared it. After the fight, he spoke about the stigma that men have when it comes to sharing their struggles, to sharing their feelings. You probably saw the video and shared it.
“Men have got this stigma where they think if they talk they are a weak man, you are not weak, you are stronger than anyone. If you can go and talk to your mates and say ‘lad, this is affecting me’, you’re stronger than anyone. I don’t care what anyone says.”
“People think that bottling stuff up makes things better. I’ve been there myself, when I lost on Cage Warriors years ago and broke my hand again.”
You probably saw the video and shared it. And then a week went by, and nothing changed. In that week alone over 15,000 people died by suicide. Most of them were men. The suicide rate in men can be as much as ten times higher than for women.
Sharing a video isn’t enough.
This is the real pandemic we are facing, and not talking about, and it’s largely preventable. Like Paddy said, just talk to someone, anyone.
But that can be hard, when 71% of all millennials say they are lonely. 51% say they’re lonely often or always. The number is growing worse by generation, with 56% of Gen Z saying the same thing. For millennials, this figure is staggering considering that 66% are either married, or in long term relationships. Something is going tragically wrong.
The majority of millennials who are lonely say there’s just no one to talk to, or they can’t find someone with the same interests. They can’t connect. But surely social media can solve that problem, I mean, we’re all connected, we all have smartphones and we’re all on social media right? Right?! Well no, social media leads to anxiety and feelings of FOMO for at least 68% of people.
The algorithm often leads to dangerous echo chambers, especially when mental health is concerned (look at the connection between tourettes like ticks and TicTok). Swiping left and right commodities people based on looks rather than substance and invalidates people’s sense of self and character. Public events or groups are overwhelming for people coming out of lock down, or struggling with issues of acceptance or confidence.
I remember sitting by my mother’s hospital bed just wanting to text someone about the Star Wars film Solo without being asked how she was, or how I was. I just wanted to take a time out and talk and take my mind off things, because when it comes to mental health it’s not always a case of needing to talk about mental health, sometimes all you need to do is talk about anything else, to anyone.
We are developing Brane because we feel strongly that chatting to someone, anyone, about anything, anywhere, at any time, should be as easy as booking a ride. Connecting with like-minded people to chat, or meet up, or share a meme with, should be as convenient and fun as finding someone to date — even simpler without all the baggage attached! Our mission is simply to help people connect with like-minded people, because a little chat can go a long way, and a little banter can brighten up a day, or make a real lasting friendship.
We know that loneliness increases early death rates more than smoking a pack a day or having an alcohol addiction. We also know that young people and millennials feel like they have a hard time connecting with others. That’s why Brane helps people connect and chat. About whatever they want. That’s it. No barriers, no judgement, no stigmas. Just search for something that interests you, click a profile and chat, it doesn’t even need to be about mental health, it can be about anything that matters to you or improves your day. A little banter can go a long way. A chat can save a life.
You can install Brane by clicking here on your smartphone and instantly start chatting with people who share your interests.
But please, please please, if you are having thoughts of suicide, please, reach out to someone on any platform that works for you. Or click here for this list of suicide crisis hotlines sorted by country and just CHAT. People are here for you and NO ONE wants to lose you.