A blog centred around men’s health and a personal story written by your Men’s Rep, Omofayokun Dare Abraham
A blog centred around men’s health and a personal story shared by your Men’s Rep, Omofayokun Dare Abraham.
Overtime, men’s wellbeing has declined due to societal pressure and the inability to speak up about their mental health and wellbeing. Many men have been affected by poor mental health and wellbeing and the lack of known resources available to them, this in turn impacting their daily lives, relationships and how they treat themselves.
There are some identified issues and underlying barriers affecting men’s total wellbeing over time:
- Poor stages of academic performance and work including attainment, stress, redundancy, and unemployment
- Unforeseen circumstances or occurrences
- Challenges faced by marginalised men in society
- Not having support available in new surroundings
- Domestic Violence
- Men’s health conditions both mental and physical
- Family Dynamics
My big story: Reflecting on my dad's death:
On the 18th of November 2022, I heard the sudden news of my beloved father's death. Even though I was not expecting it so soon because I was just coming out of a serious accommodation challenge due to my relocation for studies from my home country (Nigeria).
It was so hard on me that I could not really think straight, I was overwhelmed with a lot of anxiety and depression. I thought I could pass my course module without asking for mitigating circumstances at that time because we were writing our first semester master's programme assessment. I tried so hard to concentrate, but unfortunately, I couldn't pass the module.
I tried so hard to move on, but I couldn't, my immediate family (wife and children) were far away from me, I couldn't cry for my loss, I was lonely, I couldn't travel as well. It really affected me health wise, and my mental health was greatly impacted at that time.
I thought about his life, legacy, and what he stood for in his active years, my father was a defender of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,
A prayer warrior to the call,
A father to many people,
A mentor to many people,
A leader to many leaders,
A good meditator and reconciler to many homes, relationships, families, and friends,
A gentle, ever smiling and a giver.
His good memories and the help of my course leader whom I spoke with at that time helped in restoring me mentally and it made me have comfort all through those periods. I rewrote the failed module in sound mind, which I later passed.
Many men have fallen victim to the stigma of speaking up and reaching out for help, utterly believing societal pressure that they must “act like a man”. This harmful attitude towards men and their wellbeing leads them to staying silent and not accessing the help they need.
There’s an African proverbs which says, “A problem shared, is a problem half solved”, meaning no matter what you’re passing through or how difficult it is, it’s better to share and reach out to a trusted person or professional. Taking the first step is always the hardest, but once you do, the road to improving your wellbeing becomes easier.
The themes of this years International Men’s day are, making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys, raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing and promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity.
Here are a few tips and signposting to help you on your way:
- Be conscious of your total wellbeing and recognise when there’s a shift in how you’re feeling - keeping a journal is a great way of doing this!
- Know that there is help available whenever you’re worried, feeling low, ill, or passing through any form of health challenge
- You can find out more about support services offered by the Students’ Union and University,