We spoke to the UoL students running TheMenTalkProject on Instagram
The page is informing students on mental health resources and aiming to raise awareness
It is no secret that all of us have had our mental health reach an all-time low throughout this pandemic, so it is now more important than ever to address these issues, especially for men. Seven students from the University of Liverpool have created a campaign to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the discussion of men’s mental health in our society.
The MenTalk Project is an exciting new student-run campaign consisting of seven University of Liverpool students (Emily Eastwood, Yumi Li-Vi, Erin Boyle, Miles Blakey, David Byrne, Ziyi Zhang and Katie McCormick) who intend to raise awareness on men’s mental health and are eager to make a change.
In just two weeks, TheMentalkProject has managed to rake in over two hundred followers on their Instagram account where they’re providing informative posts surrounding mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression, designed to raise awareness. Their posts also advise on helplines and websites available for coping or treatment and aim to provide a space for people to share their stories and experiences.
Currently, they are sharing people’s Movember journeys and stories onto their Instagram using the hashtag #MenTalkMovember so if you are taking part in Movember this year, make sure to use the hashtag or get in contact with them if you want to be featured.
But why men’s mental health? Why is this topic so important to these students?
It is a fact that men’s mental health is not spoken about enough and that there is a stigma that men have to be strong and are ridiculed when expressing their emotions. These students believe this to be a major problem and that this is a very dangerous mindset to have as it is now evident that males accounted for 75% of suicides in the UK in 2018 and 2019.
Miles Blakey, one of two males involved with the campaign, said: “I know too many lads that are dealing with mental illness that keep it to themselves simply because they feel like they have to, due to the stigma attached to it.
“It hurts me to know there are men out there that feel like they aren’t able to show their emotions and won’t allow people to help them.”
Forget looking like those GQ men with ripped bodies, I mean they are great but so is your body. The most authentic you is the best you! https://t.co/iGv26Zw35L
— TheMenTalkProject (@MenTalkproject) November 11, 2020
The page creators and final-year UoL students Emily Eastwood, Ziyi Zhang and Katie McCormick, all agree posts urging people to speak up are aimed strictly for women. This has lead them to believe that this may be a contributing factor as to why men feel as if they cannot discuss or express their own mental health and emotions, motivating them to create this campaign so that men and women can be treated as equals in terms of expression and treatment of mental health.
Although the MenTalk campaign is predominantly aimed at men, the importance for women to also become aware of the issues surrounding men’s mental health still exists. As many women may have internalised the mindset of toxic masculinity in that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness, that men must always be strong or have an ideal body type. So it is essential for women to also be involved in the discussion and movement in order for positive change to happen. They will be uploading more information on this on their blog this weekend so keep your eyes open for that.
It’s easy to feel isolated when dealing with mental health issues. Well you’re not alone. The MenTalk Project are here to help.
Follow us on our additional media accounts to help get the word round
— TheMenTalkProject (@MenTalkproject) October 27, 2020
The students have also set up a Facebook page, Twitter and a blog for MenTalk to reach as many people as possible and are always looking for suggestions on what topics to feature or what fellow students would like to see more of.
The MenTalk Project has an exciting future ahead of them so make sure you follow them through their development in creating social change.
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