Men in the Lowestoft area will be able to find out more about safeguarding their wellbeing at a special event taking place in memory of a much-loved power lifter who lost his battle with mental ill health this summer.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has joined forces with the #LiftLoudForDanny fund and Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing to arrange the evening at Mammoth Power Gym on Tuesday (4 December). It has been organised in memory of gym owner Danny Willgoss, who died suddenly in June, aged 25.
The evening aims to give men a better understanding of wellbeing issues, as well as advice on self-help, coping strategies and local sources of support.
During the evening, Danny's mum Sue will talk about her son and #LiftLoudForDanny, which she set up in his memory to raise awareness of the importance of looking after mental health.
Former Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin will share his story about overcoming depression, while Luke Woodley, Chief Executive of Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing, and staff from Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney will give advice about the support which is available locally.
"Since we lost Danny, we've noticed that the guys at the gym have started opening up to each other," said Sue. "It's great and shows that even big muscly men can talk about their feelings, which is a nice legacy for Danny.
"We really want the gym to become a centre of excellence for mental health support, and somewhere people can come if they want to talk.
"Tuesday's event is the first joint conference we have held with NSFT, and we hope to be able to continue working together in the future to raise awareness of men's wellbeing. It seems that its now really taking off in this area and more people are now starting to talk, which can only be a good thing."
Gabriel Abotsie (pictured), NSFT's Men's Wellbeing Lead, said: "We are really pleased to be working with #LiftLoudForDanny to organise this special event, which we hope will raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding mental health as well as the range of support which can help.
"We know that men of all ages are less likely than women to seek help for all types of problems, including depression, substance abuse and stress. We hope that this event will help break down some of those barriers, get people talking and show that its ok to ask for support during times of distress."
The free event comes as part of NSFT's ongoing drive to encourage men to talk more openly about their emotions while promoting education and social inclusion. It will take place at the gym, in Whapload Road, between 6pm and 8pm.
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Anyone who feels they need help with their wellbeing should make an appointment with their GP or contact Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney, which provides support for common mental health and emotional issues such as low mood, stress and depression.
For more information or to self-refer, visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk or call 0300 123 1503.
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