November 23, 2021, by Habbi Liton
What is Men’s Health Active?
The Men’s Health Active initiative is a program run by University of Nottingham Sport. It’s for students, it’s run by students, and it’s implemented university-wide by a team of passionate students. We are all working towards one goal: a near-future where male-identifying students can use sport and talking to augment their mental health, without stigma, fear, or judgement.
Recently, the MHA team celebrated International Men’s Day. November is a big month for male mental health, and on Friday 19 November we shared stories from from within the UoN Sport community who spoke of their relationships with sport and mental health. You can watch all of these videos on our Instagram page.
Two of us run the MHA initiative, Euan Cowan and Duncan Caldwell. You’ll usually find Euan in the pool, where he’s training and competing in BUCS. And you’ll find me – Duncan – training with the American Football team! If you see us around, we’ll usually be wearing our distinctive green MHA t-shirts, make sure to say hello and ask us what we’ve been up to!
We have three ideals:
- Sport and exercise have a positive impact on mental health
- The more we understand and are educated on mental health the more we can positively help ourselves and others
How we enact these ideals:
- We promote and run sport sessions where students can get active and feel the benefits of exercise in and of itself, and the social connections that sport brings.
- We share resources about mental health, including specific ways in which male students can maintain and improve their mental health, and resources for everyone to support the wellbeing of the male students in their lives.
- We run talk shops facilitated by the counselling team, usually with our friendly faces present. These talk shops are an open and safe space for men to talk together about whatever they would like to talk about!
To share and promote these ideals, we have a team of ‘Champions’ who represent the initiative across the university. We are growing fast and trying to recruit champions within every university team, club, and society to widen our positive message and sessions as much as possible. Champions advertise our sport and talk shop sessions to their teammates and peers (and get to wear our stylish green t-shirts as well!). We are always, always, always looking to grow our reach, and if being a Champion appeals to you, get in touch! You can message us on Instagram or check out our webpage for other ways to get in touch!
We are also always looking for new people to work with. If you’re running a welfare related event, let us know and we can help promote it, or even get involved. And if you have suggestions and ideas, we want to hear those too. We hope to see you at sport sessions, talk shops and just around campus!
And most importantly: keep active, learn about your mind, and remember that #theresnostrengthinsilence
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