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International Men’s Day 2023

This International Men’s Day 2023, meet Ian and Paul, two Mind in Bradford volunteers talking about men’s mental health.

What advice would you give to another man struggling with their mental health?

Ian: Well, I know it’s cliched, but they’re not alone. We all have mental health, including other guys, and a lot of the time it’s about learning responsibility by speaking up and accepting that everybody goes through difficulties. We all go through difficulties, peaks and valleys, you know, regardless of what diagnosis it might be; depression or schizophrenia or an eating disorder, and we all go through bereavement. And so it’s about identifying what support you want, what works for you.

Paul: Seek help. But I realize how difficult it is, but don’t leave it too late.

What things do you do to manage your mental health?

Ian: Trying to sleep better, exercise, certainly. All the things to look after yourself like you would for your physical health, try and take care of your mental health. Little things; it might be praying, it might be meditation, it might be crystals and gemstones. It might be just going out for a walk in the park. These things could help. And I found those things really help you to connect with people. Coming here, I find that people don’t judge. Sometimes you won’t have to say anything, and people just know, they just get it, because they’ve been there.

Paul: I’m in a lot better position now. I’m physically active every day. I’ve got my own walking business, which I’m trying to develop and bring mental health into it. And I know the warning signs now, so I can nip it in the bud. I also talk to other people about it.

How would you support a friend who is going from a hard time?

Ian: I suppose I would listen. Certainly, I would listen more than talk and give them the chance to speak openly. I’d be compassionate and certainly open-minded, you know, I’d point them in this direction. You know, there are people willing to listen. There are people who give good advice. And so sometimes I find that it’s not always advice that they want. They just want like a soundboard just to talk, you know, to get things off their chest. And, I find that a lot of times to have somebody to listen is the best medicine.

If you or a loved one are looking for confidential, emotional support, you can talk to Guide-Line. There are two ways you can access support. Call us for telephone support on 08001 884 884 or chat to us online.

A £15 donation could fund one 30-minute call to Guide-Line – donate to our winter appeal.

Posted on: 21st November 2023

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