For Men’s Mental Health month, Her Campus Aberdeen has reached out to a national organisation, Andy’s Man Club, that aims to support men’s mental health in local communities. Please enjoy an interview with Mark Inglis, an Aberdeen-based representative of the organisation!
Can we start with a little explanation of what your organisation does?
Andy’s Man Club was started 6 years ago by Elaine Roberts and Luke Ambler after the death of Andrew Roberts, who took his own life. Their goal was to get men talking, to prevent what happened to Andy from happening more. They aim to prevent other families from experiencing the devastation that Andy’s family felt.
What are some challenges that men face in maintaining their mental health?
Men often feel that it’s a weakness or an embarrassment to talk about their mental health because of long-standing societal stigma around men expressing their mental health problems.
What do you recommend for men struggling with their mental health?
Talk to someone, and reach out, because there are too many men taking their own lives.
What systemic issues contribute to men struggling with their mental health?
Society’s way of looking at men, like bringing them up to be strong, or the rock, or the breadwinner contributes to this. Boys are rewarded for not crying, or for not talking about their feelings.
How do these systemic issues also affect women and nonbinary people?
Women are certainly the unsung heroes of Andy’s Man Club. In my personal experience, talking about my feelings saved my marriage, because I could express myself to my wife. Men not talking causes marital problems and problems in friendships often because they can’t express themselves.
What can we do as a society to help stop these issues?
We can be more vocal about mental health and get the word out that it’s okay to talk. Men and women need to have real conversations, not just talk about the weather. We need to be more open with each other. Especially with the pandemic, if we don’t do something now, the numbers will speak for themselves.
Any closing words?
Andy’s Man Club provides two hours on a Monday night where you can unburden yourself.
The more men that talk, the better for society. The goal is to be able to teach our kids and grandkids to talk from the beginning, so they don’t have to rely on clubs at all.
We need to normalise talking about our feelings.
Andy’s Man Club website: https://andysmanclub.co.uk/
Andy’s Man Club has local chapters all over the UK, including in Aberdeen that meet weekly, on Mondays from 7-9pm. They also do frequent local presentations.
Women’s Wellbeing Club website (Andy’s Man Club sister organisation): https://womenswellbeingclub.co.uk/
For urgent help:
Samaritans: 116 123
CALM: 0800 58 58 58