Here at Freethought we have a history of supporting mental health, and after the last few years the need for mental health support has never been greater. One area of society that often goes overlooked, or more accurately, suffers in silence, is men. We have a tendancy to expect men to "man up" and not express their feelings, but in reality men are just as likely to be stressed, or over worked, or simply sad, or lonely as women and yet they are probably the least likely to seek the help they need.
Menfulness is an amazing organisation based in York that support men with whatever they're going through. To quote Menfulness, their vision is:
... a society in which men feel empowered and supported to be the best version of themselves. Menfulness brings men together to socialise, exercise and enjoy themselves whilst sharing their experiences in a supportive, impartial environment that improves mental and physical health.
In addition Menfulness reconise that sometimes a little extra support is needed and they encourage men to obtain the support they need, Menfulness estimate that 1 in 10 of the men they work with need professional mental health support. This is where their counselling partner Serendipity steps in to provide free professional support to those who need it, no shame, no judgement. 100% of those Menfulness referred report meaningful positive change in their lives.
These sessions cost money though, along with everything else that Menfulness does and so we are thrilled to be supporting them this Christmas with a £500 donation to continue the amazing work they do, particularly around professional counselling for those men most in need.
In conclusion, we just want to recognise that at Christmas there is an immense amount of pressure on everyone, and this year we also face the prospect of once again not seeing loved ones, or isolating over Christmas. As you read this you might be feeling under pressure, over worked, stressed, sad, or lonely. Don't keep it to yourself, don't be afraid to ask for help, often the hardest word to say is "Help". We would encourage you to seek the support you need, there are many organisations you can reach out to, please don't be afraid.