St Helens Borough Council’s Public Health Team has joined forces with local former professional boxer Martin Murray to launch an important new initiative to support men with their mental health.
The St Helens born former WBA interim middleweight title holder helped to launch a new booklet, titled’ MENtal Strength’, which will look to provide important tips and guidance for men to help keep their mental health in good shape.
The booklet was unveiled this week in partnership with the Council’s Public Health Team at Martin’s ThinkFast Academy at Parr Sports & Community centre in St Helens just before the start of national Men’s Health Week (June 13 -17th)
The new booklet contains advice and support as well as details of local services, and support lines that are available to men who may be struggling with their mental health.
From the start of Men’s Health Week onwards, the new booklet will be available to collect for free from local gyms as well as some off-licences, betting shops, supermarkets.
Martin’s ThinkFast Academy uses boxing to help older adults living with mental illness. The Academy holds weekly sessions at Parr Sports & Community centre on Derbyshire Hill Road, St Helens
Martin said: “Everyone has mental health, sometimes it’s good and other times it’s bad, and that is completely normal.
“Boxing training and exercise have always been a great way for me to manage my own mental health and that’s why we promote it in as many ways as possible at our Think Fast Academy.
“If you’re struggling with mental health, please speak to someone about it as the majority of people will have, or would have, previously experienced the same issues that you are having now.”
In addition to the launch of the new booklet, St Helens Well Being Service will also be staging a host of activities during Men’s Health Week itself from June 13th -17th. This will include group walks, blood pressure checks, brew & chat sessions at Nutgrove allotments, as well as games, sport and light exercise sessions.
For further details on the full list of activities during the week click here: https://bit.ly/STHWellbeingMHW
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “Men’s Health Week will give men across the borough a chance to get a mental and physical health boost and it is an important opportunity to give yourself that all important personal MOT.
“The launch of the new MENtal Health booklet is particularly valuable as it will serve as a very useful support tool for men who may find that they are struggling with their mental health for whatever reason. We are hoping it will be a valuable resource for them and give them that important reassurance that they are not alone and help is available.”
The launch of the new booklet is also being linked to the local OK2ASK campaign, which encourages more people in the borough to talk about suicide prevention.
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council, said: “Although overall the rate of suicide deaths in the borough is lower than it was, unfortunately we are still seeing a number of suicide cases in St Helens which is tragic and upsetting.”
“We want to continue working towards our ultimate goal of having zero suicides in St Helens and we hope this new guide can be used as a valuable resource by men across the borough.
“It’s key theme is based around strength and is designed to counter the traditional stigma of ‘weakness’ when discussing men’s mental health. That is somehow a sign of failure or weakness for men to disclose they have a mental health problem when actually, speaking about how we are feeling and asking for help takes courage.”
To view the new booklet online visit: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/mentalhealth
If you are a local business/gym/off-licence/ supermarket and would like to provide copies of the booklet to customers, please email PublicHealth@sthelens.gov.uk
For more information on Men’s Health Week (June 13-19) and the Men’s Health Forum visit : Time for your MOT | Men’s Health Forum (menshealthforum.org.uk)
For more details on the OK2ASK campaign please visit : OK TO ASK (oktoaskcampaign.co.uk)
For more details on the Men’s Wellbeing project and local activities visit : St Helen’s Wellbeing (sthelenswellbeing.org.uk)