It is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month. One person who is trying to help men open up is Barry Howorth, 37, one of the founders of The Broken XI Cricket Club, who aim to give men who are suffering from either mental health issues or men with physical problems.
He created the club in September this year, after a long hiatus from playing sports after struggling with his mental health, he described it as “A Facebook messenger conversation that got wildly out of hand.”
Mr Howorth used to play American Football but stopped due to stress, after finding himself managing the majority of the club, which included 3 separate teams. Barry said, “Slowly, things were happening, and I realised I had no social life I didn’t have a sense of that belong, I got so used to being a part of that group, I was alone… my mental health took a plummet.”
He mentioned how a group of friends from the same team were also suffering, one with physical problems. They were sat joking about needing something else and this is how the idea came together.
The Broken XI has yet to play any matches, but Mr Howorth has said that to them, it is not all about winning, “We are not gonna look back and go ‘We won the majority of our games, that’s a winning season.’ We are gonna go collectively, are we happy? Are we healthier? Are we that little bit less broken?’
Click here The Broken XI Cricket Club to learn more about the team.
Neil Cahill from Renew, a mental health drop-in group said “From a men’s mental health point of view, then, there are two sides I see. Restoring confidence is important, but facilitating the person’s reconnection or reintegration with others is important.”
Sports teams based around supporting each other, instead around the culture of drinking and winning, could be an effective way to help men with their mental health issues, and in turn, reduce the high suicide rates of men.
If you are struggling, please visit https://mensmindsmatter.org.