To mark Mental Health Awareness Week former boxer and WBA super-middleweight champion, Brian Magee and Antrim GAA star Domhnall Nugent join mental health charity Inspire to send a strong message on the importance of talking about mental health.
At a training session in Magee Health and Fitness in west Belfast the two leading sportsmen highlighted the role that physical exercise and sport can play in boosting mental health by increasing social interaction and self-esteem.
Brian Magee, owner of Magee Health and Fitness said: “In and out of the ring, my career has been about physical strength and agility, and mental wellbeing and resilience are just as important. My message is clear, mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand and no one should be ashamed to ask for help if they are struggling or worried about someone else. I would encourage everyone, especially any young men out there who might feel embarrassed talking about their feelings to take that first step.”
Domhnall Nugent, Antrim GAA star said: “It’s hard to believe that there is still such a stigma around something as common as mental ill-health or addiction problems. When I was struggling with my own mental health everything changed for the better the day I asked for support. The ‘ASK: LISTEN: TALK’ message may sound simple but it takes real strength to admit when you need support – it’s not easy but, as I know myself, it’s absolutely worth it.”
The gym, has subscribed as an ‘Inspiration Point’ to provide gym-goers with access to mental health support materials in a bid to normalise conversations about mental health.
Personal Trainer at Magee Health and Fitness Lorraine Hesketh, who organised the Inspiration Point, said: “We get hundreds of people though the doors of the gym every week, working hard on their physical health and I felt it was important for them to know that taking care of your mental health is just as vital for your overall wellbeing.”
Alex Bunting, Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services from Inspire said: “We are delighted that Brian and Domhnall have got together to support our Change Your Mind anti-stigma message ‘ASK:LISTEN:TALK’. The message from these two leading sports figures couldn’t be clearer – looking after your own mental wellbeing and taking care of those around you is nothing to be ashamed of.
“At Inspire we are all too aware of current mental health problems being faced by people, families and communities and by sharing this message Brian and Domhnall are reminding us there is hope, there is support and there is recovery. It’s a powerful message and it’s a perfect way to end Mental Health Awareness Week.”