Roundup: It’s a Man Thing

On Tuesday 5 May we held our first ever men’s health event at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium. Around 75 people gathered for It’s a Man Thing to hear from an excellent line up of speakers, visit our interactive exhibition zone and take part in our Q&A session which featured special guests Ashley Beck and Jeffrey Hassler.

Professor Keith Lloyd opened the floor for our first speaker, Sara Roberts, who spoke about the fantastic work of CALM and how they are challenging a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it. Next up, Alcohol Concern Cymru’s Andrew Misell discussed the ‘coded’ way we talk about alcohol, and how people in the UK underestimate how much they drink by 225 million litres of pure alcohol a year (or 90 olympic sized swimming pools!).

Dr Ann John spoke about the incidence of suicide and self-harm, exploring the links between male unemployment and low socioeconomic status with suicide respectively. She was followed by Lann, one of our Research Champions, who shared his experience of living with bipolar and encouraging men to talk about their problems.

Ben Bowers followed up with a great overview of Movember UK and how they invest in programmes designed to tackle prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health. After lunch, we heard two inspiring stories about how career ending injuries triggered episodes of depression and suicidal thoughts State of Mind Rugby’s Jimmy Gittens and Danny Sculthorpe.

The day ended with a Q&A session as Osprey’s Ashley Beck and Jeffrey Hassler joined our speakers and experts to answer questions from the audience.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of our speakers, as well as the exhibitors: Swansea Medical School, Time to Change Wales, Sustrans Cymru, MacMillan Cancer Support, British Heart Foundation and Meic Cymru.

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