International Men's Day
By Rae Evans, Brand Manager
International Men's Day aims to create a space for men to discuss their mental health.
The day highlights positive role models and raises awareness of men's well-being. The theme for 2023 is 'zero male suicide'. Suicide is the leading cause of death in the UK for men aged under 50.
In celebration of International Mens Day, Brand Manager Rae Evans sat down with four colleagues to discuss how to maintain stress levels in high-pressure environments and who their biggest influences are in life.
In a candid interview, Terry Hancock, Head of Service Operations; Richard Tulley, Engagement Director; Peter Burke, Delivery Manager; and Ben Hodgkin, Commercial Lead, spoke openly about their experiences, providing tips on practising self-care.
As a man, what does International Men's Day mean to you?
Terry: It gives the perfect opportunity to highlight the ongoing risk of male suicide and is a good reminder for men to consider their mental health. Suicide is not a hidden killer. It's a large killer. It's a massive threat to everyone; it seems to be overlooked or taboo, and we must be more vigilant about it.
Peter: I guess it's raising awareness about men's mental health. There are a lot of issues around suicide, opening up and being able to feel honest about your feelings is really important, but more importantly having someone to listen to you.
How do you manage stress levels working in a high-pressure environment?
Richard: It's always been a challenge for me; the reason I got into programme management and the delivery space is that I am a 'doer'; therefore, I think some of the stress is part of me what I thrive off. Over the last five years, I have been coaching and mentoring, which has helped me see how I handle stress from a self-awareness perspective. In a hybrid world, I take more regular breaks, sit out, have coffee, walk my dog, and take time to get away from the intensity to create positive air gaps.
What do you do to take 'time out'?
Terry: I am fortunate to have a supportive network, such as my wife, friends, etc. Many who have worked in similar industries and understand the challenges I face in my day-to-day role. So, they are suitable for a reset and recalibration. One of my good friends hosts a burn-out podcast which I listen to regularly.
Richard: The most remarkable thing I found during the pandemic is that I am fortunate to live where I live. I love music; I used to take an hour during my to listen to my music and go for a walk. I consider it a mental detox. Whilst you may not get the endorphins you get from the gym, I feel extremely re-energised from music; that is my peace.
Who has had the biggest influence in your life and why?
Ben: My dad has a very rare work ethic and pro-active attitude; it is truly admirable. Particularly his integrity; he is a fantastic role model, and I have many of his characteristics I hope to inherent in myself.
Men have traditionally been reluctant to share their emotions and feelings, raising awareness, being open minded and encouraging them to seek professional help and advice when struggling.