‘Emotional difficulties both manifest and are interpreted in a different way in masculine and feminine people from an early age.
‘Girls are encouraged to use their words, boys are taught by a culture that still uses phrases like “man up” and “grow some balls”, and that violence is more acceptable than talking.
Ms Devon said: ‘In my training with schools, I ask them to think about the environments in which boys and young men have told me they feel comfortable expressing themselves – which might include sports or music clubs, and to reflect on how accessible these are for their pupils.
‘School counsellors are wonderful, but funding cuts mean they are often shoved in a cupboard somewhere, or in the corner of a library where everyone can see them.
Looking back, he sees he was desperate for love, and discipline was one of the aspects of care that he missed out on having been brought up in transient environments, moving between foster parents and group homes.