This International Men’s Day, we want to show how physical activity can make a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys throughout our county.
Even before the pandemic, men’s mental health was a cause for concern. There is a grave disparity in the high number of men who die from suicide and the low number of men who seek treatment for depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. Physical activity and getting outside, talking to other like-minded individuals can make a huge difference to the wellbeing of many.
James Mace, founder of Essex’s Walk&Talk4Men, states: “Open up this International Men’s Day! Grab a friend and get out into nature for some fresh air and exercise. Doing an activity side by side makes it easier for most men to let their guard down and talk about what’s on their mind. Here at walk&talk4men we want to help less men become part of the alarming statistics in this country surrounding mental health, depression and suicide rates.”
Implementing the ability to open at a young age will hopefully decrease levels of poor mental health for men in adulthood. We saw that during the pandemic, children and young people were disproportionately affected by lockdowns. There has also been a considerable rise in youth unemployment, while home-schooling hit boys and young men at school and university hard, especially those from ethnic diverse backgrounds.
The core themes of International Men’s Day aim to raise awareness of issues that can affect men and boys such as; suicide, men’s health, victims of violence, including sexual violence, and problems which occur where boys are missing a father-figure in their lives. This is where the critical work of Lads Need Dads comes in.
Founded in 2015 and based in North East Essex, Lads Need Dads CIC is a Queens award-winning Not-For-Profit Community Interest Company, and the only long term early intervention project of its kind in the UK.
Lads Need Dads aim is to equip and empower boys during the critical ages of 11 to 15 to be motivated, responsible, capable, resilient and emotionally competent. Prevention is crucial in reducing the growing number of boys coming from fatherless homes each year who under achieve at school, struggle with their mental health, are excluded from school, or engage in offending behaviour. Lads Need Dads is an evolving organisation which started at grassroots level with one vision; to ‘prevent’ future generations of young males with absent fathers becoming high risk and a future statistic.
This International Men’s Day let’s check in on the men and boys in our lives. We have some brilliant groups and organisations throughout our county doing amazing things to benefit the mental and physical wellbeing of males, and we welcome you to explore the links below.