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November: A Spotlight on Men's Mental Health

As the autumn leaves fall and November unfolds, the focus shifts to a crucial aspect of well-being - men’s mental health. Movember, a renowned non-profit organisation, plays a pivotal role in this, driving forward the conversation about men's health issues. Best known for encouraging the growth of moustaches and beards to raise funds, Movember's campaigns touch upon key health areas: men's mental health and suicide, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
With over 1320 men's health projects funded globally as of 2023, Movember uses various campaign strategies to encourage men to seek help from healthcare providers.

November: A Spotlight on Men's Mental Health

Why is Men's Mental Health a Priority?

A startling statistic from Samaritans highlights the gravity of the issue: in 2020-2021, 75% of all suicides in the UK were male. This alarming figure raises an important question: why are so many men suffering in silence?

Studies point to several barriers: societal stigma around mental health, low mental health literacy, negative past experiences with mental health services, and the demanding schedules that leave little room for self-care. In the realm of sports, particularly, there's an additional obstacle: hyper masculinity. The physical demands and the traditional perception of 'what a man should be' often translate into psychological barriers. Young male athletes may view seeking help as a weakness, a sentiment that can impede open discussions about mental health.

British Weight Lifting's Role in Men's Mental Health

Throughout November, British Weight Lifting (BWL) has been actively generating conversations among athletes about their health experiences. We've engaged our athletes in candid discussions about managing mental well-being and the advice they'd offer their younger selves.

Chris Murray, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, shared, “It’s often assumed that managing your emotions alone is a sign of strength. But mental health is crucial to performance. Just like we consult coaches and physiotherapists, talking about mental health should be just as normalised."

Jaswant Shergill, British Champion, emphasised the importance of support: “Make space for those struggling. Mental health challenges can make reaching out difficult, but having someone there makes a difference.

Steve Bestman, Junior European Championships competitor, advised, “Place a higher importance on mental health. Sharing your problems can alleviate them.”

Henry Axon, a Scottish National Team member, highlighted perseverance: “The journey matters. Keep going, no matter how slow.

Liam McGarry, a World Class Programme member, reflected on the rigour of elite sports: “Embrace the process. It builds the mental resilience needed for peak performance.

Sean Clare, European bronze medalist, spoke on the power of community: “Reach out to friends. A good laugh with mates can be incredibly uplifting."

BWL takes pride in how openly our athletes and members discuss mental health. According to recent research, tackling these barriers involves using role models, providing psycho educational materials, assisting with symptom management, motivating behaviour change, signposting services, and reframing how we view emotions in men.

By giving our athletes a platform to share their stories, we aim to inspire others in our organisation. If you're seeking resources, BWL has a dedicated page for mental health support, available here.

Feeling Low? Here's Where You Can Get Help:

Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, offers guidance on seeking help, mental health techniques, and support. They have a dedicated page for Men’s Mental Health, accessible here.

Movember provides a comprehensive list of resources and support lines for anyone in need of advice or support. Find their resources here.

For immediate assistance, the NHS offers dedicated phone lines available 24/7, ranging from crisis support to a comforting conversation. Access these resources here.

If talking on the phone feels overwhelming, you can text SHOUT to 85258 anytime to connect with a mental health advisor. For more information, visit SHOUT’s full website here.


  • Latest suicide data (20 November 2023) Samaritans
  • Castaldelli-Maia, J. M., et al. (2019). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(11), 707-721.
  • Sagar-Ouriaghli, I., et al. (2019). American journal of men's health, 13(3), 1557988319857009.
  • Galdas, P. M., et al. (2005). Journal of advanced nursing, 49(6), 616-623.



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