It’s the final week of Movember and what a month it’s Been. With my slowly growing whiskers bristling in the cold air, I’ve loved seeing how successful this campaign has been.
A whopping £700 raised so far…
On the fundraising front alone, I have raised a staggering £700 so far, through both the generosity of donations to my Just Giving page and my male yogis that have joined me at my Yoga For Men in Bristol.
Walking the talk on men’s health
It’s the talks however, that have meant the most to me. Uncovering local charities made me realise what an incredible array of support services we have on our doorstep. The talks have not just raised awareness on these services, but more importantly highlighted the scale of the challenge in tacking men’s health issues such as suicide prevention, testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health.
And so to this week’s talk, where we welcomed Isabel from Bristol Mind to join us. I previously raised money for Bristol Mind by running chair yoga classes as live webinars at work as part of Mental Health Awareness Week earlier this year
Meeting demand is challenging
What surprises me the most with Bristol Mind is the scarcity of available resources to deliver the extent of its much needed services. Bristol Mind receives no national funding from Mind, so relies heavily on fundraising activities, such as through my Movember campaign.
My interview with BBC Radio Bristol last week on mental health highlighted the growing public interest, particularly in what we can do to support our mental health and the availability of local services to meet increasing levels of demand.
A vast array of services on offer
Isabel helpfully summarised Bristol Mind’s services that range from supporting individuals on mental health issues affecting their lives to its confidential freephone helpline to talk things through or just listen. Bristol Mind also offers paid for services including 1:1 counselling, including for the LGBTQ community and bespoke workplace training such as on mental health first aid.
How you can help
Isabel highlighted the challenges they face in meeting demand, most notably for its advocacy services supporting individuals in hospitals. Equally, the simple things that anyone can do to provide support. Whether it’s simple things like informing people about Bristol Mind’s services, fundraising activities or becoming a volunteer – it all helps to get the message out and supports its invaluable service.
Big boys don’t cry.. or do they?
Mental health is such a complex topic and the talk only really scratched the surface. Most importantly, we were talking – and as a group of men this is unfortunately all to uncommon. The legacy of men adopting a stiff upper lip at times of crisis and that big boys don’t cry needs to change. By encouraging men to talk openly, not feel judged and advising on support when its needed, can help these issues from escalating, and potentially save someone’s life.
Thank you Isabel for joining us and delivering such an informative talk.