Khaya Dlanga, author and media personality, has been educating his followers about the importance of speaking about mental struggles and getting help following the death of his brother, Nyanga.
“Mental health has directly impacted my family’s life in the most profound way this year.
“It is a subject that is close to my heart.
“Men tend to bottle things in and keep their issues to themselves in an attempt to appear strong.
“The reality is that none of us is strong, no matter how much we try to tough it out.
“We all need help,” he says.
Dlanga has also been advocating for men being vulnerable and stop bottling things up.
Besides Dlanga losing his brother to suicide, he says he had an experience with a depressed friend years ago that forced him to educate himself on mental health.
He wrote his experience on a Instagram post in hope of bring awareness on mental health.
“Years ago a friend of his from high school had to sleep on my couch after he quit his job due to depression.
“My only understanding of depression at the time was of the trivial nature.
“I would ask him to give me a lift to and from work and paid him so that he didn’t feel like he needed to ask me for money.
“One morning as we drove out of the complex, I asked, ’how are you?’” He started sobbing.
“Tears streamed down his face and I knew I couldn’t fix him.
“I wondered if I should say something.
“What if I do and it’s wrong?
“Yes, but what if saying nothing is worse?
“We drove for a full five minutes with my silence and his sobbing.
‘’We got to an intersection where there was a man selling whatever those men sell.
“I noticed that he was selling tissues.
“I started laughing while pointing.
“My friend looked and saw the tissues and we both laughed for a good 10 minutes.”
Dlanga says when he arrived at the office, his selfishness kicked in.
“I knew he was suicidal.
“What if I get to my place and he has taken his life?
“I felt guilty but I could not stop wondering.
“I spoke to a colleague who confided in me about her own struggles.
“She gave me the most profound education.
“The point here is that when we don’t understand and can’t relate to a mental health issue we need to educate ourselves without preconceived notions or judgements.”
He also says that he appreciated his friend was vulnerable enough to cry while he was in the car with him.
“As men, we have made it almost impossible for us to be vulnerable.”