Men’s Mental Health Month with Joseph from Health in Mind
During Men’s Mental Health Month we wanted to shine a spotlight on a service that provides support to men within Midlothian and we reached out to Joseph, a Peer Support Coordinator in the Recovery & Justice Support Service from Health in Mind to hear about the work he does and how he keeps himself well.
Do you live and/or work in Midlothian and want to share your own experiences of mental health and wellbeing and the different ways keep you well?
If you would like us to share your story, please email email@example.com
In my role as Peer Support Coordinator I promote, recruit, develop, manage, and lead paid and unpaid supporters and recovery volunteers to provide peer support in Midlothian for people recovering from substance use, mental health issues and involvement in offending behaviour.
The client base that I work with, and support are regularly stigmatized by society. We know stigmatizing and stereotyping can be harmful as it discourages men from discussing their feelings or seeking help when needed. Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month is a platform to challenge these stereotypes and encourage open conversations. At Recovery & Justice we believe that our peer support volunteers, and their lived experience can help break the cycle of self-stigma amongst our client group through the sharing of stories.
Physical and Mental Health Connection: Mental health is closely linked to physical health. Men’s mental well-being is crucial for overall health. Recovery & Justice has made physical wellbeing a focus point for a couple of our groups including our Monday Afternoon Football Group led by myself and our Walking Group led by Isla McLeod(S&D).
Having facilitated the football for the past eighteen months I have seen the difference football can make, we are seeing members of the group develop leadership skills, good-work ethic, teamworking, emotional regulation and of course dropping a few pounds here and there.
A quote from one of the football participants – “Health In Mind Football has changed my life…my outlook and the way I handle things, it has given me focus”
Here are some practical tips and advice to help men dealing with mental health challenges:
Talk About It: It’s good for men to talk about their feelings and experiences. This can be with friends, family, or a mental health professional. Bottling up emotions can exacerbate mental health issues.
Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling with mental health, consider reaching out to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor. They can provide tailored support and strategies.
Physical Health: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep are essential for maintaining good mental health. These practices can have a profound impact on your mood and overall well-being.
Mindfulness and Meditation: Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can help manage stress and anxiety. They can be particularly beneficial for men experiencing work-related stress.
Social Support: Maintain and nurture your social connections if they are appropriate. Spending time with friends and family can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.
Avoid Self-Medication: Turning to substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope with mental health issues is not a sustainable solution and over time, they can worsen the symptoms of poor mental health.