By Emily Fromant, Wellbeing Editor
The Croft Magazine // Men's mental health is an often neglected topic, leaving many men to feel unwanted in spaces created for health and wellness, and fearing being judged if they do seek help.
To try and combat this issue, every November is officially men's mental health (and physical) awareness month, with charity 'Movember' leading the charge.
Movember is the self-proclaimed "leading charity changing the face of men's health". Their three main focuses are men's Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer. They have funded over 1,250 projects globally to support efforts to help men live longer and all-round healthier lives.
Bristol university has been heavily involved in Movember each year, and this year is no different. Last year, the sports teams joined together and raised £55,000, and this year they are already on their way to raising just as much!
The official Movember Bristol Instagram account began their count down earlier this month, and have already started their fundraiser; which you can find located in their Instagram bio. Earlier this month, the official Movember Instagram actually interviewed our own Bristol University men's football club.
In conversation with Dhillon Dev Shukla, Bristol University's Hockey Men's club Captain, spoke about his feelings about Movember. "Movember is a brilliant charity, championing an all too often undervalued case." Dhillion continued "the money donated (to Movember) helps not just men suffering from mental illness, but those arount them."
He shared his own personal experience with the charity, "I personally used the resources they have online last year to help me in having a conversation with a friend about their mental health. It's not just about talking, it's about actively listening and supporting, something this charity really tackles."
Another anonymous young man shared his own tragic story surrounding mens mental health. He lost his friend to suicide in 2017, After his friend suffered in silence, it was too late. He explained how he tried to keep up a happy demanour at school, yet even when friends around him noticed he was struggling he was afraid to ask for help. He was afraid people would view him differently. "People need to know that no matter where or who you are there is help available. Any stigma or anxiety surrounding people finding out and judging you needs to disappear; no one will judge you, they only want to help. The earlier you seek help, the better."
This year, Movember has taken on a new, deeper meaning. The Bristol Football team are taking part in Movember for Olisa Odukwe, their team mate, who passed away earlier this year. In honor of Olisa, many will be growing their "Mo" in his memory. Cam McEwan told the Movember account about how the team "came together"
during such a hard time in March, detailing how much it impacted their own "mental health" after the loss of their team mate. Niko, the team fundraising Secretary explained to the Movember team, a message for those who are struggling "it's not always going to be like that, there's always a way to solve the problem."
For anyone who may be struggling, Movember is a needed reminder that you are not alone. You are valued, and loved, and you if you need help, please reach out. It does not matter what gender you are, you are deserving of support.
If you, or a friend need help:
Men's Health Forum holds a 24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mind is a leading UK charity for mental health problems. Its helpline is open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday at: 0300 123 3393.
Any plans do join the Movember shave this year? Let us know!