Men’s Health Week Blog

blogJudgey’s Story: An Outdoors Man Therapy Session

This blog post is part of a series of blogs and features the personal stories of real people’s experiences with mental health problems. These stories will be published as part ofMen’s Health Week 2012. If you wish to share your story you can get in touch with a member of the See Change campaign team at


Feel free to post your reactions or comments at the end of this post. 



Play is an essential part of an individuals development and as children its how we develop and learn about the world around us. As adults we forget this and this necessary play time that helps us cope with the world is lost.


How do I deal with stress is less about dealing and more about managing and surmounting. At times I can do this on my own, I have developed many of the skills to deal with pressure as I’ve grown up.   But some things are just too big for me to handle on my own and Trust me I’ve gone to the wrong places to look for help in the past. Alcohol only ever made it worse and burying it hoping it would go away only made smaller things appear too enormous for me to cope with.  What did help was recreation in the outdoors with my mates. An adventure big or small in the hills of Mayo, a kayak trip in Clew Bay or even a surf session in Achil, helped us share an outdoor experience and these experiences brought us closer together.


As a male it’s often hard to open up to another male. Society expects us to be strong and Stoic in our resolve and it’s really not our fault we can’t open up, we as men have been conditioned to think only women talk about how they feel. This is wrong and play time in the outdoors can help us men manage our stress better by sharing in our experiences in an environment that is closer to nature.




While sitting out back, surrounded by water with the crashing of the waves echoing in our ears  waiting for the perfect wave, my self and my male friends have debated politics, sport, the latest in surf equipment incoming weather conditions, the next big trip away to Scotland and how a recent Suicide has affected me and those around me.  How I manage stress is through play time, as we get older our toys only become bigger and more expensive and this play time with my male friends has helped me surmount so many mental obstacles it makes 6ft barrels or 1500m peaks easy in comparison.


It takes real courage to open up to someone else and all men should be encouraged to do this and if your having trouble opening up to your friends maybe its time to find some new ones, who like surfing.


This year, Men’s Health Week (MHW) will run from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th June 2012.

See Change understands that there is a complex multiplicity of perspectives on mental health problems and the experience of being unwell. See Change encourages the publication of material that promotes understanding of mental health problems, the experience of being unwell, and recovery. The opinions expressed by contributors are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of See Change, funders, or partner organisations.

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