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Belfast Met Celebrates International Men’s Day

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Published: 17 November 2020

International Men’s Day in the UK falls on the 19th November every year and is celebrated around the world in at least 60 countries, with the aim of making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys.

Belfast Met will be celebrating International Men’s Day with a series of virtual events to highlight mental health support available at the College, and the positive impact this support has on its students and staff. This has been a challenging year for everyone and looking after our mental health is more important than it has ever been.

The focus this year is on mental health, and Belfast Met will be running online wellbeing workshops and host online resources to mark the day.

Dr Jonathan Heggarty, Director of Curriculum and Learner Success of Belfast Met, confirmed, “The wellbeing of our students and staff is the College’s top priority and on behalf of Belfast Met, I’m delighted that we are marking International Men’s Day. Our events highlight the support that the College provides for all of its staff and students, and I look forward to taking part in the celebration with our College community.”

The International Men’s Day events at the College are designed to help build resilience and give all staff and students tips on how to stay healthy in both mind and body.

Isaac Kerr Mc Kenna, Student Sabbatical Officer at Belfast explained, “Men’s International Health day is celebrated across the UK every year and I believe it’s in the best interest of our friends, family, peers and ourselves to be aware of the College’s resources and events and to know how to engage with them.

“Physical health is naturally an important component to Men’s International Health Week. The College offers a service free to the College community for quitting smoking as well as the HYPE sexual health clinic which offers free contraceptives and health advice. Suicide is the biggest killer for men under 50 and the Inspire team gives free and confidential counselling to students and staff. Their work has been invaluable in ensuring the well-being of our College community. We hope to raise awareness for anyone struggling that help is at hand, whether it be exam stress, a low mood or personal troubles.”

On the day there will be workshops for all staff arranged by the College’s Centre for Excellence to include a Mood Matters Workplace Programme that will provide techniques in how to look after mental health, manage feelings and cope with challenges in the workplace and home life, and a ‘BroFlo – Yoga For Guys’ beginner friendly workshop, designed to decrease stress and increase mental wellbeing. There will also be online support from Gary Milligan, a former Belfast Met student who is now a Fitness Belfast personal trainer. Gary will be online afterwards to chat with staff and answer questions about the links between physical and mental health.

A virtual Introduction to Mindfulness session is also planned to give coping strategies for dealing with the daily challenges that a busy life can bring. Mindfulness involves making a special effort to give your full attention to what is happening in the present moment, and to your body and mind.

Additionally, the Student’s Union will host online quizzes for students and a HYPE Live Hub promoting sexual health, emotional wellbeing and what support agencies that are available to students alongside a social media campaign of key physical and emotional health messages throughout the day.

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