Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) have been running a men's mental health project called 'Unbreakable Men'.
The project was set up after realising that men who were involved in support groups for depression and anxiety often did little or no exercise, yet the benefits of being physically active on mental wellbeing are well documented. SASP also already ran a successful Well Women's project and wanted to develop and expand this into something around Men's mental health, using physical activity.
Working with Public Health- Mental Health team Unbreakable Men is designed to raise awareness of Men's mental health and get people talking about the subject/removing the taboo with males.
The first pilot session involved 15 men from all over the county, who were recruited through social media advertising. Four follow on separate sessions were then delivered as the group wanted to know and do more. The session covered topics such as Mindset, Being Active, Energy, Wellbeing, Self Care and a incorporated a different physical activity, e.g. a circuit session, Taekwondo, Yoga and a fun session in the trampoline park.
A Manual (hyperlink) which covers the 4 themes of the sessions is given to participants, the idea is that it is simple, casual and not too daunting when thinking of mental health, aiming to get the conversation started.
The project is currently focusing mainly on sports clubs to help try and reach more men and partners involved in the project, Public Health-Mental Health, were keen to try this approach and engage with clubs. The entire offer was made digital during Covid and an Unbreakable Men sports festival is being held at the end of September.
As more people return to face to face working SASP are looking to develop the project further and take it into different communities as well as the sports clubs, along with delivering more of the original style sessions.
"it is great to hear someone talk about this issue in a normal way and share their personal experiences"
"The manual really gets you thinking about your lifestyle and where you might think about making some small changes"
"I didn't realise exercise was such an important part of good mental health and helping you stay on top of things"
To find out more about the Unbreakable Men project visit