As part of Men's Mental Health Awareness this week, we would like to shine the spotlight on two young men who are past participants of our Third Space programme. Oisin O'Donnell and Martin McDonagh were awarded a 'Change Something' Fund grant of £1,700 towards their project 'Man Down'.

This funding is supported by the Community Foundation NI and will help put the 'Man Down' concept into action. Oisin and Martin have been working hard over the last few months on designing this concept. 'Man Down' looks at the idea that men are expected to 'man up' when it comes to situations in life when things get difficult. Having this attitude towards dealing with emotions can have a lasting negative impact on a lot of males and leave them feeling like they have nobody to talk to or don't want to talk because they would feel embarrassed. 

Oisin developed the idea of creating cloth bands which would have their brand of 'Man Down' upon them, he decided that this would be a good way of showing the men in the community that it was okay to speak up. He expressed that by wearing the band, other men would know and understand that there was someone they could talk to, or that other people had been through a similar thing.

Oisin, with the support of ourselves, wants to create a piece of info-graphics which would display some statistics of men's mental health within Northern Ireland and some help or support that is available to them. The young people together made a list of where best this information would be shared, they decided on the city centre, making links with NWRC, Our Place and Foyle Search and Rescue to engage with as many men and young people as best they can. 

With the support of the Change Something Fund, we hope to influence a change in the way men feel about expressing their emotions.

Oisin and Martin are a credit to themselves and have created something that will directly contribute to our city. Watch this space!