Supporting Movember at Tide
The month of November has become synonymous with Movember in recent years, and while watching people spend a month growing out their moustaches can be comical, it’s an important time to recognise the work needed to address men’s mental and physical health.
Our Events Manager, Cuan, joined Tide this year after spending 2 years working for the charity Movember. He’s passionate about the cause and continues to carry the mantle for men’s health, especially in tackling the stigma against men talking about their mental and physical health. He’s creating a positive impact at Tide with his “Time to Listen’’ monthly meets. We asked him to share his experiences and thoughts on how we can all support the people in our lives that may be struggling, to help reduce suicide rates, improve health and create a safe space for them to share how they’re feeling.
“Like many people, I have been through a lot in my life and, also like a lot of people, I used to be reluctant to talk about these things.
“When I was a kid I lost friends and family members through a series of accidents, illnesses and, in one case, murder. Then my father developed throat cancer. I had to deal with these tragic events while undergoing the whole ‘becoming a grown up’ thing, which is always hard, no matter your circumstances. When you are young, if you are lucky, as I was, you have supportive parents, family and other care-givers to help you through difficult times, and I’m grateful that the ones I had in my life did the best they could.
“Later in life when things like this happen to you, after the “growing up” is meant to have happened, and particularly in some areas of the world, when you are a man, these kind of traumas are not dealt with or discussed. We’re taught that any kind of discussion about your feelings, fears or health concerns can be seen as a weakness.
“During my time working with Movember a few years ago this became even more apparent to me, as I started to see and understand the horrific statistics around mens’ mental health, and, in particular, male suicide rates in the UK.
“It was an incredible charity to be involved with and it was a privilege to see the amazing positive changes that could be achieved through talking, sharing and educating.
“Because of my experience with this charity I was better equipped to recognise and address grief, stress and depression in myself and others. In the past few years I lost my father, my mother had a serious mental break down and I suffered with my own mental health and stress issues. The fact that I was willing and able to just talk to people really made all the difference. I was not worried about how it would make people feel or what they would think of me, as I knew that if they were half-way decent people then they would just listen, and if they could offer advice or help then that would be an added bonus.
“Most of the time all that is needed is an environment where you are listened to and allowed the space to talk about how you are doing, with no judgement. Through talking about it out loud you often find your own solutions or paths to take.
“So, we’re going to create this environment at Tide. Giving those who would like to an opportunity to sit down together and talk about what they’re going through. Speaking to people who have had similar experiences, or who just want to help, is something that can’t be prescribed, but is something that I want this group to be to anyone who wants it or thinks they may need it.
“I am not a professional in this field by any means, but if those who want to can come together now and again and conversations take place about the way people are feeling, then this will be a success.”
If Cuan’s story has resonated with you and you’d like to show your support then you can donate through this link: https://uk.movember.com/mospace/.
Our very own Transaction Monitoring Analyst, Jack, is sporting a stunning moustache in his bid to raise money this Movember, and you can read more about his story on his page.