Below are some profiles from men across our University community, sharing what mental health and wellbeing means to them, and how they look after themselves on a day to day basis.
Dr Harjinder Singh Lallie
Associate Professor in WMG
"Mental health is a taboo subject in the Punjabi community. Admitting that you are depressed or lonely is often considered as a sign of weakness. It is important to be able to openly discuss mental health issues and be able to reach out and seek support when required.
The most important step in managing my own mental health is to be actively conscious about how I am feeling. If I know I am 'down' I know that I need to do something about it.
In terms of 'doing something about it', I have lots of good and effective coping strategies which help get me back to where I need to be. Campus walks, a jog with my lovely labrador, a change of scenery, a change of task, a conversation, some social dialogue all help. Most importantly, you need to explore and understand what makes you feel better."
Client Relationship Director – Executive Education, WBS
"I think the last two years have been tremendously hard on everyone. Working at home and maintaining a balanced family life, it would be unusual if our mental health hadn’t suffered.
I have certainly struggled at times. One of the best things that has helped me, particularly during the first lock down, was getting out early in the morning to walk in the wonderful spring weather. I have become much more aware of the seasons as they change, more tuned in to what is happening outside of work and it definitely lifted my spirits at what was a difficult period.
I am fortunate that we have a great gym in our village and training during the week has definitely helped me stay more positive, energised and improved my fitness.
I would also recommend Wellbeing and Student Support. Having the opportunity to sit with someone and taking the opportunity to hear the thoughts in my head, come out through mouth, has been very helpful in terms of releasing stress, getting perspective and letting go of what was holding me back.
As men we can find it difficult to accept that we need help, just one conversation can make a huge difference. In my experience you never regret the opportunity to get things off your chest."
President - Students' Union
“For me one of the most important things for my mental health is having time each day to myself, often using it to catch up on some life admin or TV shows.
Sport is also really important to me, both for staying fit and healthy, but also as a release from everything else that I have going on. When I’m playing a game of tennis I can’t be thinking of anything else and it is a really nice way to take a break when things are getting too much.
Overall, it is really important to plan all of this into your week, especially as a student everything can be a little last minute, but having a good weekly structure that includes time to yourself and sport can really help keep you happy!”
Deputy Head of the Wellbeing Support Team
"Many men can find it difficult to talk about how they are feeling and about their mental health. It's vital for everyone to be able to talk to people they trust if they are finding things difficult and need support. I tend to speak to family and friends and I've found this can really help.
I thrive from spending time outdoors and in the fresh air and love gardening and walking. Being close to nature is always good for the soul as well as your wellbeing and mental health.
Seeking support is so important - I would urge everyone to think about what they can do for their own wellbeing which makes them feel good, and if you need to speak to someone, seek support and advice early. Don't leave it until you are feeling overwhelmed."
Deputy Dean of Students at Warwick
"I feel it's important as a man to talk about my mental health and to go seek support when I need it. I like to go running and mountain biking with my friends and it's a really great way to speak about how we're feeling and our mental health.
I also really like reading and spending time with my family - that's a really great way for me to manage my mental health.
My main message is not to suffer in silence. Take some time to speak to people, take some time to go for a walk, go for a run..... whatever you can, and just ask people how they are and have a moment to speak about how you're feeling. We're also lucky at Warwick to have a great Wellbeing Support Service."
The Study Happy Team, Warwick Library
For a lot of men, we are brought up in cultures where it is difficult to talk about feelings and we therefore supress emotions. However, I have found that contrary to my expectations, an honest chat with a friend or family member (or even a work colleague) has made me feel a lot better and a lot more confident speaking up if something is wrong.
I cannot emphasise the importance of sleep and exercise. Ensuring you get ample sleep and exercise regularly – even if this is a simple walk – really helps with balance. Eating well and staying hydrated are also important.
Finally, I try to stick to more simple methods of relaxation, such as reading a book, rather than watching too much TV or looking at my phone. Reducing the amount of screen time really helps.
Head of Wellbeing & Student Support
I think it is really important for us all (including men) to talk openly about mental health. Sometimes this might feel difficult and quite often in my experience men can struggle to know how or when to talk to somebody about their own mental health.
I would encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health, where they can to be kind to themselves, speak to someone personally or professionally and remember you are not alone.