Tuesday 30 November 2021

Men’s Health Awareness Month with Tom Truman

November marks Men’s Health Awareness month, a campaign to support those tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues. Tom Truman, Mental Health and Wellbeing Liaison Officer & MBA Student at Coventry University, discusses the issues surrounding men’s mental health and what it means to him.

- Tom Truman

Mental health problems can affect anyone, but discrimination and stigma can make people anxious in talking about their experiences to seek help. Outdated attitudes to gender norms reinforce the myth that men should be ‘tough’, and they are not a ‘man’ if they show any sign of weakness. A lot of men may fail to recognise the warning signs and maybe unwilling, or unable, to seek help. There is no shame in feeling helpless or down; everyone experiences these feelings. Men, it’s OK not to be OK. 

A few months ago, I started running to get fitter. I wanted to spend more time outside and lose some of my lockdown timber! Running is a cheap and accessible method of exercise. The endorphins it produces makes you feel better about yourself and taking part in a run is a positive self-achievement. Within a few months, I built up my confidence and fitness to run a Half Marathon to raise vital funds for Student Minds which was a fantastic experience. Taking part in fundraising on behalf of Student Minds was a great way to have fun and raise awareness of their important work. The fundraising helped keep me accountable for my own fitness goals. Within 4 months of starting running, I managed to run a half marathon and raise over £1200. If you are undertaking a fitness challenge, please consider fundraising for Student Minds: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/tomstudentminds 

Men getting involved with fundraising and talking about mental health are billboards for men’s health and often it sparks off conversations with other men in their lives to talk about their mental and physical health and seek help. 

I would urge anyone who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health to tell someone because you can bet that you are certainly not alone. The sooner you reach out and ask for help, the sooner you will start to feel better. You just have to take that first step and once you have, things will start to change, and you’ll wonder why you left it so long in the first place.

You can fundraise to support Student Minds and student mental health too, find out more today.

Tom is a degree educated Mental Health and Training professional currently undertaking an MBA in Leadership for personal development. Tom has previously worked in the accommodation, charity, and training sectors. Tom loves Cats and has the dream of going on a safari in Africa to see big Cats in the wild!

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