Today is International Men’s Day – a day with the aim of creating awareness and acceptance for mens health, both physical and mental. A day in which we aim to create a world in which men are able to walk away from the concept of ‘man up’, and are able to discuss openly the role men play in the world, and how we can navigate it.
With suicide being such a prevalent killer of men, it’s absolutely vital that we start working on creating this atmosphere as soon as possible, and save as many lives as possible.
As part of my business, Hometown Projects, I have decided that I want to play my part in helping create this environment by doing something that helped me MASSIVELY when I was going through the worst of my troubles; talking.
‘How are you going to make talking a thing? Everyone talks already!’ you may ask. Well, sadly, they don’t. Men are prone to keeping their emotions tucked firmly inside, like a ticking time bomb, plodding on, refusing to do what many believe to be a burden – sharing.
If you look around as a teenager or young adult, there’s an abundance of services that cater to helping people experience a difficult period in their lives. However, as a 23 year old man myself, I’ve noticed that many of these services have a cut-off age of 25. That left me thinking long and hard about where on earth I would go if I needed help once I tick over that age in less than 18 months. The very service that helped me last time won’t be able to help me then, as they have to focus on young people.
So, with that in mind, I will be creating the Hometown Projects Men’s Talking Group. A once a month group that will launch in 2019, inviting men of all age groups, backgrounds and beliefs to share a room and talk over a drink.
I’m hoping that this group will be able to achieve a number of things that benefit everyone. Firstly: Men having a place in which they know they can talk about things if they wish, with no pressure. Whether that’s about something that’s troubling them and their health, or whether it’s to just talk about the weather with other people. Secondly: Helping to build a stronger local community, through people of different demographics actually engaging with each other, hopefully then doing this further in the extended community.
I strongly believe that building communities is one of the most powerful things. People coming together to support each other whether in personal terms or business terms, creating a support network that not only benefits in times of need, but also in times of success.
My next steps will hopefully not just benefit me, but my local community, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.