Initiative tackles men’s mental health crisis through football

The father and son greeting outdoor

In the wake of concerning statistics from The Samaritans, revealing that men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, The MABA Group, a London-based social enterprise, is taking proactive steps to address the crisis. At makeadifference.media, men’s health has already been discussed at length with a series of articles we’ve published on our website. 

For instance, one article highlights the importance of cleansing ‘toxic masculinity’ from the workplace, emphasising its role in reducing the number of men at risk of cancer, mental health issues, and suicide. Toxic masculinity can hinder men from seeking help for feelings of depression, making them more susceptible to suicidal tendencies. 

It’s crucial for managers to be vigilant and offer support to those most at risk, such as younger men living alone, men aged 45-49, and individuals going through significant life events like relationship breakdowns, bereavement, or redundancy.

Claire Farrow, our Partner and Global Content Director at makeadifference.media, emphasises the importance of proactive measures in men’s health. In a message to her sons in the article “Dear Son…my advice to you navigating work with your wellbeing in tact”: she states “find an employer that treats you well and is committed both to helping you to grow and to supporting your health and wellbeing; know the common illnesses that affect men and the symptoms to look out for; and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor”.

Uniting generations: ‘What’s Ur Story (Mental Health)’ event

Scheduled for June 15, 2024, the day before Father’s Day, MABA Group are running a ‘What’s Ur Story (Mental Health)’ event which aims to foster connections and support among men of all ages. The event seeks to provide a safe space for men to share their experiences, struggles, and triumphs, all while enjoying the camaraderie of football.

Challenging stigmas and encouraging dialogue

Jean-Terach Bavangila, mentor and CEO of the MABA Group, explains the main objective of the event: “The main objective of our What’s Ur Story (Mental Health) event is to challenge the stigmas around men’s mental health. Men just don’t share about their problems which can lead to mental health issues and sadly suicide in some cases. We want to show men there is a way to thrive.”

This series of events aims to bridge the gap between different generations and groups, emphasising the importance of intergenerational dialogue and understanding. By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences, the initiative seeks to demonstrate that no one is alone in their struggles and challenges.

Creating safe spaces for sharing and support

The event will provide a supportive environment for men to share their stories and concerns, knowing they will be met with empathy and encouragement. This sense of camaraderie fosters a feeling of belonging and community, empowering men to navigate life’s challenges with resilience.

The initiative aims to benefit both young and older men alike, promoting empathy, understanding, and shared learning. By fostering intergenerational connections and providing a platform for support, it empowers men to build meaningful relationships and thrive in all aspects of their lives.

The inaugural What’s Ur Story (Mental Health) event will be held on Saturday 15th June at the Phoenix Centre in London. Spaces for the first event are extremely limited due to phenomenal demand but men are warmly invited to put their names down for future events by contacting The MABA Group at: [email protected]

If the information contained in this article has affected you, please don’t hesitate to contact an organisation that can give you advice and support. You can contact Samaritans on 116 123 any day, any time. Or If you prefer to express your feelings in writing, email [email protected]. Or you can contact SHOUT by texting 85258 and you’ll get help from a crisis volunteer.

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