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Special event shines a spotlight on men's mental health
01/11/2017

​Men’s Health Awareness Month

Service users, carers, relatives, supporters and partners are being invited to find out more about safeguarding men’s emotional health during a special event taking place to mark Men’s Health Awareness Month.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will host the Men’s Wellbeing Awareness Day at the King’s Centre in Norwich on Thursday 23 November.

Open to service users, carers, the public and third sector organisations, it aims to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes and encourage men to ask for help when they need it.

The day will feature experts such as Dr Roger Kingerlee, NSFT Clinical Psychologist, and Dr John Barry, one of the founders of the Male Psychology Network, speaking about make psychologies and male health seeking behaviour.

It will also bring together a range of inspirational speakers with personal experience of mental ill health, including Luke Woodley, founder of The Walnut Tree Project who suffered with PTSD and former Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin and Richard Gorrod, NSFT Service User Governor, who have both battled depression.

Deborah Harrison, a senior lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia, will be speaking about her experiences of working with male military veterans during a title entitled ‘occupational therapy with combat-injured veterans’

In addition, NSFT staff will also talk about the Trust’s ongoing Men’s Wellbeing Project, which encourages men to talk more openly about their emotions, improve their access to mental health services and promote education and social inclusion.

It was introduced in response to national statistics which show males are three times more likely to take their lives than women, particular those in the 45 to 59 age group.

Gabriel Abotsie, Men’s Wellbeing Nursing Lead with NSFT, said: “We have arranged this special event to raise awareness of the importance of protecting men’s wellbeing, challenge stereotypes and encourage men to ask for help. That is because men can find it especially difficult to ask for psychological help.

“We would encourage to anyone who has had mental health difficulties, along with their carers, families and friends, to come along to this special event and help us raise awareness of the importance of talking openly when you are facing difficulties.

“We have invited a range of inspirational speakers to come along and talk about their own experiences, while a variety of different partner organisations will also be on hand to talk about their work and the range of support they offer.

“We hope that as many people as possible will 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.”

Dr Kingerlee added: “Times are changing for men's mental health. Locally and nationally, there is more awareness and understanding of the issue than ever, and there are new services to match.

“This event will showcase what is happening in our local communities, and how this can help the men in our lives.”

The event takes place between 10am and 4pm, with registration from 9.30am. Anyone who would like to book a place should visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/K2CRG23  

For more information about NSFT’s Men’s Wellbeing Project, visit www.nsft.uk/menswellbeingproject  

For press enquiries, email: nsft.communications@nsft.nhs.uk