By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:42, 06 November 2019
The UK’s leading men’s wellness platform Manual, is marking the start of November 2019, with a stark, image-led campaign, showing 15 of their ‘Men of Manual’ standing along London Bridge, confronting their personal struggles and encouraging others to stand together
They’re fighting against the current rhetoric which makes men feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The campaign has been designed to encourage men to open up and discuss topics that society has made feel ‘uncomfortable’.
Standing along the edge of London Bridge, Manual’s ‘Men of Manual’ are coming together to create a powerful, positive image of unison and support. Showing strength through their challenges, the 15-strong group depicts a very real reality for many men across the globe who are grappling with their well-being and mental health.
Wearing white T-shirts which address their individual struggles, the Men of Manual are proving that these ‘labels’ do not define them by encouraging one another to talk on this, they can work together to destigmatize discussions around men’s mental and physical health.
The stance across the bridge, a place synonymous with suicide, represents the unsettling reality, that on a different day this same line-up could all be facing a very different narrative. Male suicide is at an all-time high, globally, one man per second falls victim to suicide.
These shocking stats are the driving reason behind Manual’s dedication to raising awareness of men’s physical and mental health. It is hugely important that men are being offered a platform to share any issues their personal feelings without the risk of embarrassment or fear.
Earlier this year, Manual took on male body image, with a viral campaign which confronted destructive imagery we so often see in mainstream advertising. Manual’s main agenda is to help men take a proactive stance towards their physical and mental health and ultimately improve the lives of men throughout the UK.
In the United Kingdom, a staggering 75% of suicides are men
The Men of Manual line up includes a number of inspirational campaigners including Good Grief, Whole Man Academy, The Mouth of Manliness who work daily to raise awareness and support for men suffering from challenging adversities such as grief, anxiety, ill-health, stress, OCD and depression.
Dan Richards (@theonearmedwonder) is an ex- King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Soldier, who lost his right arm and shoulder in a road accident in 2009, and has since battled with depression and suicidal episodes, believes in these campaigns because, “men are seen and (for the most part) socially expected to be the tough guy, the strong “manly man” with the stiff upper lip. As men, we’re expected to fit a mould that society has painted for us with a pallet of preconceived misconceptions.
Campaigns such as this help men see that you’re not the only one who has these feelings, I could’ve done with knowing about these campaigns at the time of my depression, (but alas it wasn’t as widely publicised as it is now), maybe I’d have been able to confront my demons before trying to end my life.”
While there has been a recent surge in media support for men’s health, there is still a massive discrepancy between the way men and women view their health. Manual are keen to remove any stigma and embarrassment experienced by men who seek necessary health treatment.
Men are simply dying too young. This unwillingness to openly discuss physical and mental health issues with friends and family is preventing so many from even considering a visit to their GP. A recent survey conducted by Manual revealed that a staggering 90% of men will wait until a problem or symptom becomes unbearable before having it checked by a doctor. This misguided mindset is a defining factor in the men’s health crisis we are currently facing.
Since launching over a year ago Manual has made it their personal mission to demonstrate the importance of men’s health and wellbeing. Inspired by the strength of their Men of Manual, this latest campaign from the brand is hoping to raise awareness and provide support to those facing mental and physical illnesses throughout the UK.
Jamie Day – Loneliness, says: “I’m fortunate enough to be comfortable talking about my mental health issues. If my messaging or my story resonates with even one person who might be struggling, and it gives them the nudge they need to seek help, then job well and truly done.”
Manual’s Men of Manual, are an eclectic group of campaigners spanning across ages, and agenda’s, with a singular, shared a passion – to destigmatize the way men’s physical and mental health is portrayed in 2019.
George Pallis, Co-Founder of Manual, says:
“At Manual, we believe strongly in the power of opening up and confronting your issues. We believe that talking to those around you and challenging the outdated notion that ‘real men’ just shrug their shoulders and carry on can have a massive impact on well-being. Movember is an incredibly important movement that shines a light on the importance of positive change and openly talking about issues that affect men around the world. We’re proud to support the cause by bringing real men together, with very real struggles, and uniting them to make a powerful statement that we hope will inspire and empower.”
Manual has donated £100 for every Men of Manual who stood along London bridge this morning – helping to support Movember’s mission to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030.
Manual aims to be the go-to destination for the well-being of men everywhere. Pushing for a world where men understand the impact and importance of looking after themselves and strive to make a positive change to improve their wellbeing.
Manual is challenging the outdated notion that real men shrug their shoulders and carry on and encourages them to engage in conversations around challenging and previously taboo subjects. By removing the stigma around opening up and encouraging men to talk, Manual hopes to change the way men look after themselves.
Outdated notions of what it means to ‘be a man’ are challenged and re-aligned with a belief that inclusivity and acceptance of all forms of masculinity will make a big impact on the wellbeing of men everywhere.