Real Talk: An evening in support of men’s mental health and wellbeing charity, Movember

Recently over 60 guests gathered at the York City football club’s LNER community stadium, to attend an event in support of men’s mental health and wellbeing charity, Movember.

‘Real Talk’ was organised by local insurance advice specialists Partners& and co-hosted by the club. The keynote speaker was Scott Barrow who currently plays left-back for York City FC. The aim of the event was to debunk the taboo of talking about men’s mental health.  Currently suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35 and an average of 191,000 men a year report stress, depression and anxiety caused, or made worse by work.

Alongside Barrow were speakers, Jason Jones, director of In Business Ninjas, Grant Phillips from GPC Group Ltd Cleaning and Aaron Devitt from organiser’s Partners&.  Between them they discussed their personal experiences of losing loved ones to suicide, the mental health problems they experienced and the pressures of running a business.

I was a little apprehensive going into the Real Talk event because I’ve never spoken publicly about men’s mental health before, but I came away from it realising just how important it is to simply talk. As men we don’t talk enough about our mental health, so it was difficult at times opening up throughout the night. There were some incredibly difficult stories to listen to, but also some inspirational ones too. The fact that the room was so busy tells you just how important this topic is to so many people. We just need to keep going now, keep talking and keep helping each other talk and ultimately, raise awareness that it’s okay not to be okay.”
Keynote speaker Scott Barrow
I’d like to thank Scott, Jason, Grand and Aaron for their time and honesty, talking about their experiences that night. It was an absolutely superb event and one I’d love to see repeated again. As I looked across the room, I could see everyone was fully engaged. I think I speak for us all when I say that if just one person who attended the event took something away from it, felt reassured and more able to talk or to ask for help, then it will have been a huge success. At Partners& we take the health and wellbeing of our colleagues very seriously, we have a full programme of diversity, inclusion and wellbeing events running all the time, which is why organising this event felt like the right thing to do. I’d also like to thank York City Football Club for co-hosting the event, for allowing us to use their facilities and for giving guests a guided tour of their superb new stadium.
Tom Kendall, Partners& hosts

Donations to attend the event raised over £1,000 for Movember, which, since it was founded in 2003, has supported over 1,250 men’s health projects, particularly prostate and testicular cancer, male suicide and men’s mental health.