This year’s Men’s Health Week, focusing on male mental health, began on the 10th of June with a well-attended launch event at Southwark Cathedral.
Under the Gothic style arches of the library at Southwark Cathedral the Men’s Health Forum launched its new Men’s Health Week campaign challenging men to talk more about their feelings and challenging health professionals to encourage men to deal openly with depression, anxiety and stress.
Gathering in the quiet, intimate premises of the cathedral, more than fifty attendees from the charitable and health sectors, partners of the MHF and representatives from national and local organisations exchanged ideas and good practice on how to tackle the stigma of mental health and how to improve men’s health in general.
Dr John Chisholm, chair of trustees at the MHF, opened the event by introducing the topic for this year’s Men’s Health Week. ‘Talking is at the centre of this year’s Men’s Health Week. We are focusing on mental health and breaking the stigma that stops many men talking about feeling down.’
From the statistics compiled by the MHF in preparation of Men’s Health Week, he draws a definite conclusion about men’s mental health:
‘These data tell us something obvious. They tell us that lots of men are not as happy as they might be. By comparison with women, men have a much greater tendency to seek escape from their problems by simply removing themselves from their physical and psychological circumstances.’
Also speaking at the launch event was Gavin Atkins, Community Portfolio Manager at Mind, who talked about Mind’s resilience project that aims at improving men’s mental health.
Following the words of the MHF’s Chief Executive Martin Tod about the MHF’s new projects in Lambeth, Southwark and Haringey, health professionals, academics and practitioners were encouraged to continue their discussions on male mental health during the networking part of the event.
With many follow-up conversations on male health being held as a result of the lively debates at Southwark Cathedral, the event was a ‘cracking launch’, as Haringey councillor David Winskill put it.
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