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International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day

It’s that time of year, where men get their steaks and a nice spot in front of the tv!

But there is a much bigger picture to this day.

International Men’s Day (IMD) is a global awareness day for the many issues men face including parental alienation, abuse, homelessness, suicide, and violence. Celebrated annually on November 19th, the objectives are set out in the ‘the Six Pillars of International Men’s Day’ as shown below:-

The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day

According to the International Men’s Day website the six pillars are as follows:-

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions; to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment
  3. To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against males; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

The Importance of Men’s Mental Health

As statistics showed in my last article, Break the Stigma, on suicide and suicide prevention, the male suicide rate, is 15.5 per 100,000 people. It is believed, the stigma of men’s mental health, is one of the main causes of men not successfully sourcing the right help.

We can raise awareness, we can show it’s okay to not be okay, we can beat the wall we call “stigma” and reduce the negative figure. By following the information provided in this post and its links, we can have a better understanding on how to make a difference.

Throughout November there are many events around the country to support and help men, if you’d like to attend one of these you can find a link here

Andy’s Man Club is a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across the United Kingdom and online.

Antony shares his experience of role models and mentors

International men’s day also focuses on a more positive topic, appreciation and celebrates achievements. And what better example to have, than our very own Joint Managing Director Antony Prentice? Touching down with an interview style set of questions that digs out some personal responses. Antony’s openness and honesty is a true leadership skill, that builds trust and confidence.

Could you share insights into the role models who have influenced you.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had any specific individual role models – I’ve been influenced more from personal and professional life experiences and by always keeping my eyes and ears open to what is happening around me. I’ve always been an observer of people, so therefore have learnt from many people. I have also had the benefit and privilege to have travelled extensively, which has without a doubt had a strong influence on me. 

I didn’t really have strong parental role models as I grew up in a single parent family. My mother had her own many personal challenges to deal with. My father left when I was quite young, so I didn’t have an obvious male role model in my life, during childhood and adolescence. I never really saw this as a disadvantage though. Rather than being negatively impacted, I think this helped shape me and I firmly believe that my upbringing gave me a stronger than average sense of independence, self-reliance and resilience, which has stood me in good stead since.

What’s your experience with mentorship, either as a mentor or a mentee? 

In my early career I had a couple of professional mentors. Always more senior and professionally experienced than me. I was able to build on some of my technical and leadership skills by learning from their personal experiences – both successes and sometimes failures. More recently I have engaged with a coach, which I am finding benefits me in a different way – more as a sounding board to find own way to solutions.

Have you mentored another male within BM

Over my career I have coached and informally mentored many people. Most recently I had the great experience of more formally mentoring Miguel (our former head of coffee and tea) which I thoroughly enjoyed because I felt I was able to add some tangible value to Miguel’s development, but also benefited personally learning from Miguel’s different (and younger) perspective and style.