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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh-Jade West

Male Mental Health Focus Game

Today we are holding our Male Mental Health focus game. In a year where we have been denied a number of support mechanisms, including not only football, but the sense of community it brings; this game is particularly significant.

For a lot of people the things that make them individual, the things they enjoy, have been put on pause, and while this is for the greater good it has had a massive impact on mental health across the globe.

Every 2 hours 1 man in the UK takes his life. 75% of all UK suicides are male. Mental health is so important yet so many men don’t feel able to talk about it, to voice when they are struggling and to seek support. We are due a culture change. Today's game is in partnership with Andy’s Man Club whose aim is to get men talking and to break the stigma.

If you feel you are struggling or would like some ideas of how to support a friend or family member, here are some local and national services you can access.

ANDYSMANCLUB - Non-judgmental, talking groups for men held weekly on Mondays at 7pm. There are different groups around the country, with one held at St James Park, Exeter. Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be suicidal or have a mental health problem. It is an environment to get men talking.

Samaritans – Call: 116 123 - - Provides free, confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. You can call, email, write a letter or drop in and speak to someone in person.

SHOUT – Text: 85258 - 24/7 text service, this is free on all major mobile networks. Shout is for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It provides immediate help and support for anyone struggling to cope.

First Response – Call: 0808 196 8708 Devon NHS 24/7 Urgent Mental Health Helpline. If you are experiencing mental health distress or worried about someone else’s emotional state - support is available from the First Response Service using the number above.

Your GP Surgery Your GP is a fantastic resource for not just physical health but mental health too. This is free and they will be able to help explore your feelings with you and work with you towards a treatment plan. They are able to discuss medication, therapy and possible underlying causes with you, as well as signpost to other services.

There are a number of things you can do day-to-day to support your own mental wellness and encourage good mental health. It is important to care for yourself to ensure you can be there for others and self-care can have a real positive impact on lifting your mood, reducing stress and improving your quality of life.

Connect with others – Spend time with other people and socialise, this can have a massive impact on your mood and just being around others can boost you in a real positive way.

Try to exercise regularly – Exercise not only releases Endorphins which enhance your mood, but it can also give you a sense of achievement and make you feel better about yourself. Even a few minutes walking in a day can have an impact.

Do something you are good at – Doing something you are good at will increase your self-esteem and give you something to focus on. Once you have done it you will have a sense of accomplishment which can really add to your overall wellbeing.

Eat well, drink enough water, get some sleep – Not only will this help keep your brain and vital organs healthy, looking after your physical wellbeing has a significant impact on your mental wellbeing.

Ask for help – No-one is Superman all of the time, we are human and we get tired, we do things wrong, and we can get overwhelmed. This isn’t a weakness, and there is a real strength in reaching out to friends, family or services to get some practical support or have a chat.

You don't need to put pressure on yourself to achieve all of these things every day. Just try your best to do what you can, as often as you can.

Every little bit helps and above all it is so important to be kind to yourself.

You are not alone.

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