Ordinand's vision to get men talking

10 December 2019

Sean Oejniyi, first year Ordinand with the Eastern Region Ministry Course and member of Saint Andrews Church, Lowestoft, has a vision: to get men talking, making friendships and improving mental health.

The initial Talking Together Bloke’s Breakfast took place at Saint Andrews, Lowestoft, on Saturday 7 December. The dozen men that attended came from a wide range of backgrounds, some professional, some retired, some homeless and others unemployed. All found fellowship and friendship at the breakfast Sean had organised. To make this possible Sean had gained support from the Asda supermarket and Costa Café in Lowestoft donating food for the breakfast.

Sean commented:

“Bloke’s Breakfast (BB) at St Andrews Church offers a safe space for men to build positive relationships and discuss issues affecting men in the parish. Some of the discussions over a hearty breakfast this morning highlighted issues on high cost on rent and homelessness. We hope to invite guest speakers to BB in the future to unlock these issues for us while men continue to support one another through talking, listening and positive actions.”

Studies into mental health* show that while women are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition, men are far more likely to commit suicide. This has been linked to the idea that men are less inclined to reach out and talk to people (including their friends or GP) about their mental health – making spaces for building relationships that allow them to be honest and feel supported in all areas of their lives utterly crucial.

*Fundamental Facts about Mental Health 2016, Mental Health Foundation

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