International Men's Day

International Men’s Day is a global day dedicated to celebrating and highlighting the positive contributions and diverse experiences of men. This day is a time to shed light on the issues affecting men’s health, physically and mentally. With this year's theme, #ZeroMaleSuicide, the focus is on prioritising mental health, reducing male suicide rates, and joining a global effort to eliminate male suicide.

This year, we spoke to men from our community about how being active and team sports has impacted their mental health.

Football In Mind

Football in Mind is a community group in Eynsham that meets at Bartholomew Sports Centre every Friday. Founded by Will, this group emerged in the wake of the devastating loss of Daniel Johnson, aiming to create a supportive environment for men to forge connections and empower them to be open about their feelings.


"Personally, when I set this up I wasn't going through the best period of my life either. I wanted to do something that could lift up the community and bring people together, and I wanted to do something for other people. Football for me, has always been a form of escapism. So that was for me quite a big reason why I did this when I was working at the leisure centre."

Man on football pitch
Man throwing a ball


"Playing football is important because it gets you out. You do things together. I'm ex-forces, so I was always in a team, and to rely on other people in your time of need - it's like football; you play better as a team, not as an individual."


"I suffered with PTSD, and I didn’t see a way of coming out of that. It really impacted me and my family too. So, to be able to get out and to play football or an activity and get your mind away from being stuck indoors. Because you’re active, you’re feeling a little better, and that’s what it’s done for me."

Man kicking a ball on the football pitch

Our Community

Hear from our community about the importance of mental health and how staying active has impacted their wellbeing. 

Man using a treadmill


"For me, I'm seeing a really big shift now, in people talking about their mental health, specifically men my age because they actually know it's okay to reach out for help is not weak to speak, as I say. So, yeah, more men are speaking about their mental health as it's now being accepted more.

A lot of people are doing their own research now and becoming more self-aware, when there are issues and how to address those issues. Most importantly, when they do ask for help, they know that there'll be listened to and not dismissed by being told things like "man up" or "big boys don't cry" that is such an archaic attitude to have had."

Read Steve's story


“I was a very angry person, not aimed at any individuals - it was aimed at myself. Getting back into the gym has helped me mentally, my anger, my relationship with my family and to accept the way I am.”

Read Mark's story
Man in the pool

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