On the 24th April, 2023, we hosted an insightful evening of conversation and learning at our Men’s Health Meet-Up, which took place in the SU Lounge.
The aim of this event was to create a safe and supportive space where students could come together and discuss issues related to men’s physical, mental, and sexual health. This event was organised and led by Joshua Borokinni, Vice President, Wellbeing and Diversity 2022/2023. Joshua has kindly shared an overview of the event and information on the various topics covered and organisation attendees.
"I am thrilled to report that the event was a resounding success, bringing together students, guest speakers, and members of the Plymouth community for an evening of learning, conversation, and community", Joshua shared with us. "We had a total of 25 attendants, which exceeded our initial target of 20. The event was supported by three expert guest speakers, including Jon Ackland from the SU Gym, Andrea Matthews from Togetherall, and Robbie Sandland from The Zone, all of whom delivered insightful and engaging talks on the different aspects of men's health."
"After a brief introduction and welcome from myself, attendees engaged in an icebreaker activity to foster connections and promote a welcoming atmosphere. We then moved on to the first speaker from Togetherall, who addressed the crucial issue of men's mental health, which is often neglected and stigmatised. The speaker provided a comprehensive overview of the support services available for those struggling with mental health issues and offered practical tips and strategies for self-care. The talk was both informative and interactive, with attendees asking questions and sharing their experiences," Joshua explained.
What is Togetherall?
Togetherall is a safe, online, peer-to-peer community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. Togetherall is designed to help you take control of your mental health and start to feel better. It is a global, 24/7 community moderated by clinical professionals, where you will gain access to a wealth of resources and tailored self-help courses specifically designed to help you deal with anxiety, sleep, depression, and much more.
As your University has partnered with Togetherall, it means you have access to this service completely free of charge. All you need to do is sign up using your university email address. Togetherall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it unless you tell them.
Find out more about the Togetherall Partnership here.
The SU Gym:
"The second speaker, from SU Gym, provided valuable insights into the importance of physical health for men. The talk focused on the role of exercise, nutrition, and healthy habits in maintaining optimal physical health and wellbeing", Joshua shared.
The SU Gym, located on the University of Plymouth campus, provides a range of activities to assist you in achieving your fitness and mental health goals. From the 50 station gym, squash courts, multi- purpose sports hall, dance studio and the sports injuries clinic, the team can offer a host of facilities which can be utilised by students, staff and members of the public.
The SU Gym currently has an excellent Summer Gym Membership offer available to all students. For just £10 a month you can get access to the gym, classes and a free induction!
You can view the Summer deal, book a class, and purchase a membership to the SU Gym online quickly and easily through their online system here.
SU Gym opening times:
Weekdays: 7:30am – 10pm
Weekends: 9am – 6pm
Bank Holidays: Closed
"The final speaker from The Zone focused on men's sexual health, providing valuable insights into how men can protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and the importance of regular sexual health check-ups. The talk also touched on the intersection of sexual health with mental and physical health, emphasising the importance of a holistic approach to wellbeing."
The Zone, located on Union Street, Plymouth (PL1 2SR) are a charity which provides free confidential information and support to young people.
On average, The Zone support over 5500 different young people every year through their various projects. Their services are available six days a week, offering young people emotional support and information around housing, sexual health and mental health and the options available to them. The Zone can also offer information about, and make referrals to, specialist services, both within The Zone and elsewhere.
You can find more information about The Zone, their different services and support areas, and book an appointment on their website: www.thezoneplymouth.co.uk
...the event was a resounding success.
Feedback from students who attended the Men's Health Meet-Up was very positive, Joshua explains: "Students expressed appreciation for the opportunity to learn about different aspects of men's health and engage in meaningful conversations with peers and experts. Attendees also highlighted the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the event, especially the free pizza, which helped them feel comfortable, seen, and supported. Many attendees expressed interest in attending similar events in the future, and we are committed to providing them with ongoing opportunities to learn and grow in the field of men's health."
"We are grateful for the support of the University of Plymouth Students' Union and the Board in making this event a reality. We are also grateful for the contributions of our guest speakers, who shared their expertise and insights with passion and dedication. We look forward to organising similar events in the future and to continuing our work in promoting men's health and wellbeing."
Improving your Mental Health: A Student Guide
You can read your VP Wellbeing and Diversity Officer, Joshua Borokinni's other recent article on wellbeing: Improving your Mental Health: a Student Guide here. This guide talks about the importance of taking care of your mental wellbeing and managing academic stress and shares tips for how you can start. It includes relaxation and meditation tips from Mind UK, and suggestions for expanding your social circle and increasing your activity level.