City College Lecturers Get Muddy for Male Mental Health

23 September 2019 | Access to HE & GCSEs, College News

Four lecturers from City College Plymouth’s Access to Higher Education (HE) department successfully completed the London South Tough Mudder challenge last weekend, and raised hundreds of pounds for Plymouth-based male mental health Community Interest Company (CIC) and non-profit organisation, Males Allowed, along the way.

Lauren Parker-Smith, Gemma Hutchings, Lindsey Hovvels and Kaarina Chambers (all 21-ish) took on the gruelling ten mile course on Saturday, facing hot weather, treacherous obstacles and the eponymous muddy route. The all-female team worked together to cross the finish line in just over three hours.

Gemma Hutchings, Access to HE psychology lecturer, said: “Our students come from all over the South West, from every imaginable background, and we see first-hand the impact common mental health issues can have on people’s lives. Although we’ve come a long way in our understanding and acceptance of these issues, there are still people who feel that mental health problems are something to keep secret … something to be embarrassed about.”

Lindsey Hovvels, sociology lecturer in the Access to HE team, added: “As a group we were impressed by the superb work of Males Allowed, so we wanted to do something positive to help them tell the men of Plymouth that it’s OK to seek help when you’re suffering.” When asked how she felt after the event she replied “next time we’ll do a cake sale.”

Male mental health is a significant issue in the South West, as the region typically has higher rates of male depression and suicide than many other parts of the UK. With help and advice from the CIC Males Allowed, City College Plymouth has been conducting a successful outreach programme to students, encouraging young men to accept that mental health issues are commonplace and normal, and that seeking help and support if feeling unwell is the brave and sensible thing to do.

Readers wishing to contribute to Males Allowed can do so using the team’s justgiving page at www.tiny.cc/ccptoughmudder.

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