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4th November, 2021

We are taking part in Movember 2021! At a recent carer forum our CEO, Peter was asked if we could do more to help to raise awareness of men’s mental health and wellbeing. Well, we can!

Men can often find it hard to reach out for support when they need it, so we’re joining Movember this year to help to make a difference by raising awareness and funds.

Leading men’s health charity, Movember focuses on mental health and suicide prevention, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

Our team of Mo Bros and Mo Sisters are all set to raise funds and awareness for Movember. We have team members growing moustaches, some running/walking 60km over the month of November and we even have someone who has chosen to mo their own way and will be completing 60 squats a day!  60 is a pertinent figure for Movember, as we lose a man every minute of every day to suicide. That’s 60 men every single hour.

You can donate to the team here.

As well as raising awareness and helping with the important conversations, Movember fund a number of amazing projects worldwide in their aim to reduce the number of men lost to suicide by 25% by 2030. You can find the projects that they fund in the UK here.

We’ve put together some useful information and links to support the prevention of suicide in men.

Suicide Prevention Awareness

Movember research reveals that stronger social connections for men can help to reduce the risk of suicide. This means helping more men to talk about things that really matter. These types conversations don’t always come easy, but here is a great tool from Movember in starting meaningful conversations and then keeping them going.

Spot someone who is struggling

It’s not always that obvious that someone is struggling. We all get good at replying with “I’m fine” when someone asks how you are. Here is some help from Movember to help spot some more subtle signs that a man isn’t feeling quite themselves and may benefit from having someone to talk to.

A man who is feeling suicidal might:

  • appear anxious, agitated, and become increasingly withdrawn
  • show sudden episodes of anger and rage
  • express that things feel just hopeless
  • start doing risky activities with no concern for the consequences or safety
  • say they feel trapped, and that they can't see their way out of their problems
  • start misusing drugs or alcohol and/or self-harm

How to Help

If you think that someone's life is in immediate danger, call 999. There are links and information about support organisations for people in crisis here.

By opening meaningful conversations and really listening, you may be able to help someone more than you know.

ALEC - Movember

Here are Movember’s four steps in helping someone who is struggling, to start talking (ALEC).

1. Ask

“You’ve been a bit quiet lately. Are you okay?”

If someone says they are fine, but you still get the feel that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to ask again. The first response might have been on automatic mode.

2. Listen

Actively listening, without trying to find solutions or interrupting can be a lifeline for someone who is going through a tough time. Asking more questions rather than sharing your own experiences can really help someone to talk more.

“I had no idea you were going through that. When did this start?”

 Take a look at the SHUSH active listening technique from the Samaritans.

3. Encourage Action

Is there anything that he can do that might help improve his wellbeing generally? Encourage him to think about things like eating properly, exercising and routines to help with a good night’s sleep. Is there someone else he trusts to talk to as well as you?

If it’s clear he’s been feeling low for a while, encourage him to speak with his doctor.

4. Check In

Arrange another meet up or a call where you can get a feel for if he’s feeling better and will also show him that you care.

Five steps to mental wellbeing

Here are five steps we can all take to help improve our mental health and wellbeing.

  • Be physically active - start small, release the feel-good chemicals and set some achievable goals.
  • Learn a skill - boost your confidence and build your feeling of purpose.
  • Connect with other people - if you've found yourself becoming more isolated, reach out.
  • Give to others - helps you build your feeling of self-worth and to connect with others around you.
  • Be mindful – part of mindfulness is about trying to live in the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or future. It isn't easy to do this to start with, but with practice, being able to remain in the present can give you a great sense of wellbeing. You can do exercises for just a few minutes a day to help. Read more here.

Remember that often, taking that first step to action is the hardest.

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