Arts & culture

Turn the Volume Up

Men’s mental health is demanding discussion in light of climbing suicide rates. Scottish podcast host Euan Plater spotlights the subject in his show XY, through interviews with a wide range of guests, from musician James McVey to Oscar-winning director Orlando von Einsiedel

Interview: Irina Nakonechna

What influenced you to focus a show on men’s mental health?

The topic has always been close to my heart and it requires far more conversation in the public sphere. Mental health in men was something I kept discussing more and more as a general topic with friends, and yet male friends still weren’t opening up.

What do you want to achieve?

To normalise the idea of men speaking about how they feel. A big issue is that mental health issues are often seen as huge, life-changing moments, when in actual fact, men would benefit a lot from being able to discuss smaller, day-to-day issues too.

How does mental health unite people from completely different walks of life? 

We are united by mental health in the same way we are united by the common cold. It’s normal, it’s common and it should be stigma-free. It infers no weakness or wrongdoing and it’s not something to be embarrassed about.

Do you believe awareness about men’s mental health is on the rise?

Absolutely. That said, suicide figures are also on the rise and remain the single biggest killer of young men. Why this is the case is a very open question and has no simple answer. However, I feel like we’re committing a lot of time to acknowledging the problems without providing answers. In this respect if we’re asking men to use their voices, then we need to be here to listen and to help.

XY is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and Podtail