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Joining forces to safeguard men's mental health

Community organisations, healthcare providers and charities are inviting the public to find out more about men’s mental health and the help and support which is available during a series of events arranged to mark a national awareness week.

The Wellbeing Service, which is run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Mind and Relate, is partnering with a range of different groups to shine a spotlight on mental health during Men’s Health Week, which runs between 10 and 16 June.

On Tuesday, 11 June, staff from the Wellbeing Service will speak at a conference at Lowestoft Town Football Club. Running from 10am to 3pm, it has been organised by Sue Willgoss, who lost her son Danny last year, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding mental health.

“It’s important for men to be able to find the right support for them and know someone is there to listen and support with kindness, empathy and understanding,” said Sue, who has set up the #LiftLoudForDanny charity in her son’s name. “We must work together to change things.”

On Thursday, 13 June, the Wellbeing Service and MensCraft will host a joint event looking at the challenges of engaging men in mental healthcare. Running between 9.30am and 1pm at Frere Road Community Centre in Norwich, it will feature presentations from mental health professionals, including staff from the Wellbeing Service, NSFT and MensCraft.

Tim Allard, from MensCraft, said: “Men are often reluctant, hesitant and avoid taking their health seriously. At the same time, services need more effective approaches in dealing with the male psychology. We want to bring people together to share ideas and look at ways of working together on supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged men.” 

On Friday, 14 June, Kelvin Colbourn, Local Associate Co-ordinator with the Wellbeing Service, has linked up with Cromer Church, Cromer Football Club and the Share as One for Mental Health charity to arrange a walking football session at Cromer Town Football Club at 6pm. Open to anyone, the session costs £2.50 per person, and will be followed by a talk by ex-Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin, who has become an ambassador for good mental healthcare after suffering with depression.

Simon Fenn, Head of Mission at Cromer Church, said: “Cromer Church actively seeks to engage with and support the local community, so I’m really pleased to be working in partnership with these events to raise awareness regarding men’s mental health and the importance of self-care.”

Gabriel Abotsie (pictured), Men’s Wellbeing Lead with the Wellbeing Service, said: “Everyone is welcome to join us at one of these events, which aim to challenge stereotypes, showcase the support which is available and encourage men to ask for help when they need it.

“We are really pleased to be working so closely with our partners on this important issue. We would encourage service users, carers, relatives, supporters, partners and healthcare staff to come along and get talking about mental health so that we can continue to reduce stigma while encouraging more men to develop strategies to help them cope during times of distress.”

To book a place at the event in Lowestoft on Tuesday, 11 June, go to: liftloudfordanny-mens-wellbeing-and-mental-health-conference-tickets

Places at the event in Norwich on Thursday, 13 June are limited. To book, go to: promoting-mens-well-being-and-the-challenge-of-engaging-men-tickets

No need to book for the event at Cromer on Friday, 14 June - just turn up on the day.

Need help? For advice and support, visit our Wellbeing website.​

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