How are you feeling out of 10?
On Monday evening more than 50 people from the local community joined us for a screening of the life changing documentary ‘Steve’ at our Community Stadium Hub.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. 12 men a day. One man takes his own life every two hours.
One of those men was Steve Yates. But Steve was more than a number, he was a father, a son, a brother, and a friend.
Four years on from the release of the film in March 2019, Director Ben Akers admits that it still feels like it was yesterday and images of Steve still trigger him.
The 90-minute documentary takes viewers on a journey, looking at why male suicide is happening and what men can do to help themselves.
Following the screening Ben opened the floor to a group discussion and acknowledged that his own understanding of mental health has changed a lot since 2019, “There are many things in the film that I only skim the surface of. I was so naive. If I knew then what I know now it would be a very different film. Maybe not better. Just different.”
The evening culminated with a Q&A featuring a panel of guests including Brentford FC Ambassador, Marcus Gayle, Chair of Board of Trustees at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Ian Dobie and Founder and Owner of Jongleurs Comedy Clubs Dr Maria Kempinska MBE.
All three were forthcoming in discussing stories and experiences of the changes towards mental health in their respective fields.
Ian Dobie, Chair of Trustees at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said, “I think the issue of Mental Health and particularly Men’s Mental Health is one of the biggest issues facing us in the UK. I strongly believe that we should start by talking openly about how we feel and not seeing Mental Health as a weakness.
“As sportsmen and sportswomen we have no problems speaking to a doctor or Physio, when we injure a knee or shoulder or tear a muscle, but many of us are reluctant to talk to someone when we are feeling unduly stressed or feeling down.
“It’s strange because if someone offered you a pair of footballs boots guaranteed to make you play 100 times better, you would rush out to buy them, but yet many of us still don’t want to talk to a specialist about our mental health which is likely to have the same outcome and make you feel 100 times better.”
Since Steve was released in 2019 Ben has gone on to set up Talk Club – a network of talking and listening groups for men around the world to connect. Participants are asked how they are feeling out of 10 when they arrive and then the same question when they checkout.
The Trust will be running a six-week Comedy for Thought Programme open to all men aged 18 and over, which begins on Monday 30 January from 18:00 – 20:00 at our Community Stadium Hub.
Supported by Dr Maria Kempinska MBE, the sessions have a focus on personal empowerment, listening and finding your unique comedic voice, providing an outlet in a relaxed and trusted environment. For more information and to sign up, click here. Register your interest – Comedy For Thought (6-week course)