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"Mental health is physical health"

1. What does mental health mean to you?

Mental health to me is being resilient and being able to overcome daily life and difficult
obstacles. Being optimistic and knowing that things will get better when I am struggling. Being able to express emotions instead of bottling them up, loving and being comfortable with myself, Enjoying life, having energy.

2. What do you do to look after your mental health?

I do what I enjoy; watching movies, listening to music reading, being with friends. I try to get enough sleep, stay active and try to chose healthier food options. I try to remember to listen to my body. I speak to friends and family when I need advice or am struggling with something. I try my best not to bottle up difficult feelings. I stay open to new experiences.

3. Do you/did you ever find it hard to talk about your mental health?

Yes. As a teen I struggled greatly with opening up about my feelings and had difficulty identifying what I was experiencing. I did not think that people would understand what I was experiencing. It can still be difficult to talk about my mental health though I know that it can be helpful for exploring situations, developing healthy relationships, and bringing happiness into my life so I try to do it anyways.

4. Do you think there are any barriers to talking about your mental health being male?

I think it can be difficult to find male friends who are comfortable speaking about emotions. Sometimes it can be difficult to break the ice with a friend and let them know that you need support. Especially when I was younger there was a great fear that I would be judged or rejected for being emotionally open.

5. Do you think there are enough mental health campaigns out there that are aimed at men and boys?

I have heard of several organisations; Mens shelter, and groups focusing on masculinity though I know that they are not always accessible outside of Glasgow.

6. What do you think would pique the interest of men and boys when it comes to a campaign about their mental health?
Mental health is physical health. Acknowledging that opening up can be hard to do. Facilitated open mental health dialogue within clubs and sports teams.

7. Are there positive role models in the media for men and boys who are experiencing troubles with their mental health?
I hear on the news that there are footballers who are mental health advocates but I don’t know who they are.

8. What tips would you give young men/boys on talking about their mental health?

It is better to open up than to suffer- You are not alone - Things can get better.

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