Time To Talk: Men’s Mental Health on International Men’s Day

posted by ALLpaQ Packaging

November, 16th, 2023

Company News

Behind the scenes of ALLpaQ, a powerhouse of innovation and resilience, lies a collective of men who’ve navigated the nuances of life. We sat down and spoke to some of them to get their personal insights on what it means to be a man in today’s society, the importance of mental health, attitudes and more.

What does International Men’s Day mean to you?

Alistair Baker: International Men’s Day provides an opportunity to recognise and debate the struggles men often endure, usually battling against them alone.

Ed Pinch: It’s a day that should be recognised, talked about, and celebrated by all, to encourage individuals to talk to someone if they are struggling. If talking about mental health issues for just one day prevents struggle, then it’s a reason to be celebrated.

Justin Chandler: I didn’t know International Men’s Day existed – I’ve never been made aware of it.

Jay Cunningham: I do feel it should be shared more across the world, so men know that there are people out there to get the right support and help they need.

What is the best way to get men talking?

Jay Cunningham: A very simple question: “Are you ok?” goes a long way, and gives men a chance to get something off their chest.

Ed Pinch: Always be compassionate, kind, and open in the conversations you have, reach out to your friends regularly and have these conversations, ask how they are. Too often, toxic masculinity amongst friendship groups can mask the true emotions of an individual. Being honest and kind may just encourage that one person to open up and ask for help.

Alistair Baker: I find engaging in conversation through the medium of sport to be the easiest way of getting men to talk.

Stuart Daniels: Allowing a safe place where men can speak without fear.

Justin Chandler: Let us as men speak our minds and not have to worry.

Phill Allen: Try and dispel the notion that talking is weak or not reflective of being a man.

What does it mean to be a man in today’s society?

Ed Pinch: A problem that has existed for years is the expectation that a man should supress their emotions when things get difficult. We have all heard the term ‘man up’ – it’s an issue that has had its roots in society for millennia and continues through to this day. Unfortunately, this is counter to everything that International Men’s Day stands for, and by talking about and normalising mental health issues, we can start to remove this stigma. To me, being a man in today’s society should be about supporting and loving your family and friends whilst being able to ask for help without judgement.

Alistair Baker: A man in today’s society is held to and measured against unrealistic ideals. The influence of social media has definitely had a negative effect on how the ‘everyday bloke’ sees himself; the pressure to attain a certain lifestyle and act in a particular manner can often result in clouded decision making and can sometimes be the catalyst of self-destruction.

Stuart Daniels: The role of the man has changed over the years – from one of being the bread winner to sharing the responsibility around the house, which is a good thing. I feel there is more pressure now for men to live up to images portrayed on social media and reality TV.

Phill Allen: Society’s view and expectations of men can be described as crystal, delicate and cracks all too easily.

What have you learnt in your own experiences of mental health?

Stuart Daniels: It took me eight months to realise my mental health was suffering. With the support of family and being able to talk openly with colleagues, this has turned around. I know there are people I can talk openly to if I need to get things off my chest, just as I will always listen. A good support network is key. I also enjoy getting out in the fresh air at weekends to relax and clear my head.

Phill Allen: I can only share my own experience that being prepared to seek support from a councillor was a huge help – in understanding how not dealing fully with past experiences will have a huge impact on your mental health, emotions and sub conscious mindset in your future life. The mental pain of not dealing with mental health can be far more damaging than the anticipated embarrassment of facing up to your issues and dealing with them. Open up, Speak up and look up.

So, have you checked in with the men in your life lately? Celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19th by breaking the silence and working to improve support systems.

TAGS: ALLpaQ, ALLteaM, Mental Health,


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