Guest Blog: International Men‘s Day by Elisabeth Fruehwirth
This Sunday, the world is celebrating International Men’s Day. It is celebrated every year on November 19th. It is a day which celebrates and raises awareness to make a difference to men and boys in communities. It is an opportunity to celebrate the impact that men of all different races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, disabilities, and marital status have on society.
This year’s topic is ‘Zero Male Suicide’ which is why I have chosen to talk in more detail about this topic and share with you, my own, very personal experience. My aim in doing so is to normalise the conversation around this, as well as mental health more widely.
While the conversation around mental health challenges is opening up with many prominent names like Michael Phelps, Ryan Reynolds, Prince Harry, and many athletes sharing their experiences, more must be done to make it normal for men to talk about struggles, have the right strategies and support in place, and ultimately reduce tragic statistics.
Consider different strategies to help manage your mental health
It is important to consider different options. For example, for men who have sports as their only coping mechanism to deal with stress or mental challenges, please make it a priority to find something in addition and build deeply trusted relationships to talk about anything without judgement.
There will come the age for everyone when you will not be able to do the sports to the level you do now, and this is when other strategies for mental wellness play a bigger role. From personal experience, having lost my father just recently to suicide because he couldn’t cope with his body and mind aging, this can be tougher on someone than you may think.
I ask you from the bottom of my heart, for yourself and your loved ones, explore different strategies to help you (e.g., journaling, time in nature, meditation, breathwork, yoga, sharing, etc.) and get comfortable with sharing your emotional experience with the right people (trusted loved one, support groups, therapist, etc.).
For inspiration on how others deal with it, please tune into our panel discussion on towards end of the month.
Anyone who knows me a little, knows how important health and particularly mental health is for me. This is because I have experienced two burnouts in my life and the recovery from the last one taught me a lot. Since then, I have gained many different tools to ensure I never ever go to that dark place again. As one of Nash Squared’s internal Mental Health First Aiders, everyone can always reach out to me for a confidential conversation in seeking support and tips.
We all spend a lot of time at our workplace, with our colleagues, clients, and suppliers, let’s not forget that everyone is a human being, and you may have no idea what the others internal landscape looks like.
If you do spot someone who looks like they need support, then do check in with that person. One way to do this is by applying the conversation model championed by Movember called ALEC – Ask, Listen, Encourage action, and Check in. We can all make a difference for ourselves and others.
At Nash Squared, our employees’ wellbeing is of high importance to us. Next week, you will receive an email from the wo+men@NASH employee resource group (ERG) with a global collection of resources for support on mental health and, in particular, suicide. Please take your time to familiarise yourself with those resources, not just for yourself but also to be in the position to provide support to loved ones.
With all the activities we have planned, we aim to make male mental health a normal topic to have a conversation about. Please keep an eye out for those other pieces and join the dialogue. This helps International Men’s Day achieve its goal of Zero Male Suicide.
“In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind.”
Please note, the term ‘men’ used refers to all individuals who identify as men regardless of their sex assigned at birth.