Pin It
Daniel Brereton
Daniel Brereton, "Harry"

Watch these short films exploring the loneliness of male depression

TextDazed Beauty

We speak to filmmaker Daniel Brereton about this work following two men in their journey with mental health

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. It’s a shocking statistic. When Dazed Beauty investigated on male mental health for our Beyond the Masc campaign last month, Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM an organisation leading the movement against male suicide, reported that more than four in 10 men under the age of 45 in the UK have contemplated taking their own lives. 

Mental health, of course, doesn’t discriminate in who it affects but cultural pressures on men have meant that they are often much less likely to come forward with their troubles, to talk openly about what they are going through and to seek help. It’s what Gunning refers to as “the damaging masculine stereotype that conflates strength with silence.” 

Attempting to combat this deep-rooted silence is Daniel Brereton. Earlier this year, the filmmaker travelled up to the north-west of England to shoot two of his friends as they open up about their journey with mental health. “The aim of the films is to create a dialogue with people who may have similar issues and encourage them to speak out to loved ones or professionals,” says Brereton. “I hope that everyone can gain insight from the films, helping them to help people they know who are going through difficult times.” 

Why did you make these films?

Daniel Brereton: I had been interested in the subject of mental health, and how it affects everybody, and I wrote to someone I knew and asked if they wanted to make a film about their experience with mental health. I then asked a second person later on about making another film. I was drawn to these people as I felt they had a story to tell, and they were kind and open enough to share that very personal story with me.

Who are the men in the films and how did you meet them?

Daniel Brereton: They are both friends, one very old and one a newer friend, and having that friendship meant that they were able to be vulnerable and open up. It took some courage on my part to approach them, but I'm glad I did. We began the process by just meeting up and recording a conversation, and then the imagery of the films was created as a result of this conversation.

What do you hope to achieve with the films?

Daniel Brereton: The aim of the films is to create a dialogue with people who may have similar issues and encourage them to speak out to loved ones or professionals. I hope that everyone can gain insight from the films, helping them to help people they know who are going through difficult times. 

How far do you think the conversation around male mental health has come? 

Daniel Brereton: It is getting better, but as with most things, we have a long way to go. My own personal conversation is getting better, and I am glad that it is ok to talk about mental health and not be seen as being weak. 

Where do you think we might make more progress?

Daniel Brereton: I think by making things simple and easy to understand, we are able to inform more people, and so if the subject is talked about and explained in a manner that anyone can understand then that makes it more inclusive. This could be through any kind of media.

What does masculinity mean to you? 

Daniel Brereton: I think there are both masculine and feminine qualities in all of us, and I think it is about being aware of this. Being confident and caring, supportive and kind is masculine, and it is also feminine

What do you think the future of masculinity is? 

Daniel Brereton: Knowing yourself and knowing that you can be a man and still be feminine.

Read Next
tits444tats trans men tattoos
Tits 4 Tats is giving free tattoos to help trans men who want top surgery Beauty news
Jackie Aina
Jackie Aina cuts ties with beauty brand Morphe Beauty news
Brad Mondo
The beauty experts saving you from YouTube’s worst tutorials Beauty Feature
buller & rice salon hair cut coronavirus London
This is what a post-lockdown haircut looks like Tried and Tested
necropheliac ophelia liu glow up winner makeup
Glow Up season 2 winner Ophelia talks sci-fi beauty and bad attitude Beauty Feature
Georgia Jagger
Georgia May Jagger’s step-by-step guide to trimming your split-ends at home Beauty news
Arielle Bobb-Willis, “Austin” (2020)
This photography print sale is raising money for Black British charities Beauty news
asai fashion east ss19 lfw london spring summer 2019
You can own Asai’s incredible SS19 nails and it's for a great cause Beauty news
The Crown Act
National Crown Day: July 3 is dedicated to ending hair discrimination Beauty news
Jeffree, James, Tati
Everything you need to know about Tati vs Jeffree Star & Shane Dawson feud Beauty Feature
Gemini July 2020
Cancer season and Mercury retrograde: your July 2020 beauty horoscope Horoscopes
Tati says Shane Dawson & Jeffree Star manipulated her with ‘poisonous lies’ Beauty news
False lashes
Sephora to stop selling mink fur false eyelashes Beauty news
Morphe removes all Shane Dawson x Jeffree Star Conspiracy beauty products Beauty news
Jacindo Leelo Ann
13 incredible Black LGBTQ+ make-up artists that you should be following Beauty Feature
dontpopthatspot acne awareness month diversity black
#Acnepositivity is built on inclusivity, but what about diversity? Beauty Feature