April 7, 2022, by Habbi Liton

Throwback Thursday: Men’s Mental Health in Sport Talk

On Thursday 17 March, the Men’s Health Active ran their first Men’s Mental Health in Sport Talk and what an incredible evening it was. The team had 3 male students/alumni come in to share their lived experience of ill mental health at the university and how this intersected with their performance sport.

As an initiative, the Men’s Health Active ambassadors were approached by the University of Nottingham Men’s Hockey team after Tom (the driving force behind the evening) wanted to share his story of mental ill health and how the hockey club have helped him. To suggest this showed incredible strength and through the union of the Men’s Hockey team, Men’s Health active and UoN Sport, this evening came together.

The speakers Tom Rhodes (UoN men’s 1st team hockey), Ed Tarlton (UoN men’s football alumni) and Harry McDonald (UoN men’s hockey alumni) all talked about mental ill health in such an open and brave way and it’s what the Men’s Health active initiative strives for. Everyone in that room listened to every word they had to say.

The speakers were intersected with great initiatives at the university with big thanks to Rugby Minds and Welfare in Sport for talking about what they are doing for Mental Health at the university.

The speakers had a deep impact on everyone in attendance but it also had an impact for them, here are a few words from the speakers:

Ed Tarlton: “I was really moved to hear about the journeys of the other panellists at Thursdays event. A huge thank you to those in attendance whose quiet receptiveness and sensitivity helped create a safe and non-judgemental space which played a big part in me personally being able to share reflections on my own experiences”

Harry McDonald: “I wanted to share my story around mental ill-health to show that our mental health is something we live with, rather than try to cure, and also to share how thankful I am for the support I received from both the University Counselling Service and the people within the hockey club, without whom I wouldn’t be here today. The work that the hockey club are currently doing with the university’s inclusivity in sports group and Men’s Health Active team to make something lasting and consistent across multiple years is truly inspirational”

After the event, attendees were invited to leave feedback and this is some of the great feedback we received, it is really credit to the speakers and the deep impact they left on everyone:

“I came away so confident with how this generation of men are handling their mental health; their insight, courage and thoughts about the future direction of men’s mental health in sport and beyond were an inspiration to witness.”

“I think it was such a lovely experience and my housemate and I talked about how much it resonated with us and some of the similar experiences we could relate to”

“I thought it was excellent. Well-ran and organised, lots of safe space for the panellists to speak. It really impacted on me and I hope there are more events like these”

The whole evening truly showed there is #NoStrengthInSilence.

Posted in Inclusive SportWelfare in Sport