b&m was invited to take part in Head In The Games’ 24 Hour Football Match on Friday last week. The tournament had been organised to raise funds towards Suicide Prevention in the UK and specifically mental health within the male community.

In the spirit of supporting the cause, we donated funds to secure a 1 hour 5-a-side football match against Abbott Construction – respected contractors that we work closely alongside. The game was friendly and despite the rainy conditions, we had an exceptional time.

In 2021, suicide was noted as the biggest cause of death for men under the age of 50 – a shocking statistic. In men, emotional expression is not widely encouraged and it’s no surprise that men sometimes struggle to tackle their mental struggles when they arise. We encourage looking out for symptoms of mental decline. In our very male dominated industry, we understand that we need to create a safe and open forum for these discussions. Our team members Paul, Dom and Craig have been trained through b&m as qualified mental health first aiders.

In addition, it’s also Stress Awareness month. An annual reminder that stress is a pandemic and the gateway to further mental and physical illness. Our daily modern lives can often overwhelm us and its important to see signs of mental decline before its too late. Stress is one of the most common symptoms of mental decline. Others include, low self esteem, feeling hopeless and continuous low moods.

We asked some of our staff what they do to keep their mental health in check – here are some tips from some of b&m’s boys:

“ I routinely go to the gym and I used to run once or twice a week. Staying fit keeps my mind healthy”George Malone.

Having ‘me time’ works if I’m feeling stressed. I exercise and take part in other hobbies – mostly solitary for a bit of ‘me time’. ” Jake Whittlesea

“I find that talking to someone helps”Paul Gannaway

“The environment of sport, particularly team sports, can be a great place to let off steam and build relationships. I also coach children’s football teams and nurturing sporting activity for children in today’s world is hugely important.” – Kenny Pratt

If you or anybody around you is suffering with their mental health or experiencing suicidal thoughts – speak to a Samaritan on 116 123