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Movember Inspiration: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel.’

Jemimah shares her brother’s story of life and support after their Dad died by suicide, and how he reached the decision to take part in this years ‘Movember’ challenge for men’s health and suicide prevention.

Light at the end of the tunnel

I initially thought moving to Uni would be perfect after losing my dad a few months ago. New beginnings and new faces would help me to move on and start my ‘new life’, but even this new shiny city couldn’t stop my mind wandering. My mental health didn’t miraculously change or heal itself and it wasn’t going to, so I had to find new ways of dealing with it.

Although I wanted to forget the trauma and carry on as if nothing happened, it just built up the frustration and confusion. Luckily I was able to talk to someone weekly about my feelings. Initially it was focusing on how I felt at the current time, but I realised I had months of feelings and emotions that I hadn’t attended to appropriately, and to truly feel at ease I needed to address these first. Being at Uni it’s hard to find time to slow down. I found even the simplest things such as going on a walk could really calm me down and allow me to address some thoughts I’d hidden.

Whilst I was going through this self healing, I began to realise how the majority of students (specifically boys), were experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression and lack of self worth that were relevant to my story. At the beginning of October I was invited by one of the older students to take part in a Movember fundraiser, to help tackle some of these issues which are found in men, specifically concerning mental health. This includes going with only a moustache and running 60km over the month to raise awareness of the 60 men who kill themselves every hour. Having this opportunity to help people who don’t have someone to talk to or the right resources to help them is amazing.

As well as being a great opportunity to have more time to reflect to myself, I’ve also found speaking openly about these issues completely liberating. I was terrified of admitting the fact that I had counselling or that my dad had killed himself, but addressing these facts and raising awareness of the issues that surround mental health and male societal expectations was crucial for myself and millions of others. If we dig a bit deeper we can open up these spaces for more meaningful chats to prevent people reaching crisis point. The Movember website is full of resources for people who may be struggling, or if you know someone who is and want to reach out.

If you’d like to donate, I’ll be posting constant updates throughout the month on my Mo Space found here: https://movember.com/m/josephtaylor600?mc=1

Or find me on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014687374078

Or email me here: Joseph.taylor9@hotmail.com

Together we can make a difference for men’s health – in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Help me stop men dying too young.

Joseph Taylor (Mojo)