A shopping centre and mental health charity have teamed up to create an interactive installation that shines a light on men’s mental health struggles.
Churchill Square and Sussex-based Men Walk Talk will bring the Human installation to the Brighton shopping centre from November 14 to 20.
The installation will raise awareness of men’s mental health challenges and mark International Men’s Day and Men’s Health Awareness Month in November.
The event calls upon local men of all ages to share stories of their own mental health struggles anonymously.
These stories will be displayed in an interactive brain installation on Churchill Square’s lower mall, where people can read them and know that they are not alone.
The team from Men Walk Talk will also be on hand at the installation to speak to people and highlight the work it does in the county.
The organisation offers peer support to men of all ages through outdoor walks, giving them the chance to share, avoid isolation and reap the benefits of outdoor exercise on mental health.
International Men’s Day is an annual international event celebrated and marked on November 19 every year, adopting three key themes:
making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
raising awareness for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
and promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity.
Men’s Health Awareness Month, also known as Movember, works to raise awareness and raise funds for men’s health issues.
Churchill Square is asking for people to share their story anonymously to be part of the installation.
Churchill Square centre director, Mark Buchanan-Smith, said “Suicide is the biggest cause of male deaths under the age of 50 and with men statistically less likely to access psychological therapies, around one in eight men have common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic disorders or OCD.
“We have a real opportunity to make a difference here at Churchill Square and International Men’s Day and Men’s Health Awareness Month seems like the perfect time to raise awareness and help men of any age to feel they are not alone.
“And by partnering with MenWalkTalk we can hopefully encourage men to open up and get the help they need.”
A representative from Men Walk Talk said the charity supports men by providing walk and talks across Sussex and other places in the UK.
He said: "These walks are safe places for guys to speak to a volunteer with mental health first aid training and offer peer support and form friendships whilst enjoying the benefits of walking outdoors.
“Some of the Men Walk Talk Ttam will be present during the week, please come and see what's happening and read some of the stories from the guys who are part of the community.”