Let’s Talk Bereavement

On Father’s Day, we launched our “Let’s Talk Bereavement” campaign, highlighting the services 2wish offer and opening the conversation about men’s mental health.

Spreading Awareness Through Events

The first of it’s kind for the charity, this campaign spanned a whole month, and saw the charity hosting exciting collaborative events. These events included a cricket match at Miskin Manor Cricket Club, a football match with Ty Hafan at Y Pant School, and a Forum evening at Cardiff International Arena. We’re so proud to say that all three events were a roaring success.

The cricket match saw teams of selected local cricket clubs, and 2wish all-stars come together for some good ‘old-fashioned’ competition. Ty Hafan v. 2wish was a brilliant (albeit wet) evening bringing together bereaved men from a wide range of different backgrounds and circumstances, with one common interest, creating community amongst their male peers.

This was all rounded off by our forum evening which took place at the L2 bar in Cardiff International Arena. More than 50 individuals attended this event, both male and female, which saw our 4 guest panellists lift the lid on men’s mental health, the importance of breaking the stigma associated with this and share their own journeys through grief.

Encouraging Men to Talk about Bereavement and Mental Health 

The evening was hosted by GP and former rugby reporter, Dr Rick O’Shea. Our guest panellists were Bristol Bears rugby player, Callum Sheedy, retired GP Johnathan Richards, community mental health advocate Luke Conlon, and founder of  ‘Get the Boys a Lift’, Ryan Evans.

The forum saw Dr Rick O’Shea and co open up about loss and the wider topic of men’s mental health, addressing points like speaking to professionals about mental health, cultural and generational factors, and gender norms that prohibit men from seeking help.

Some key takeaways include…

  • Although mental health awareness is in a much better place in recent times and we are generally more accepting of these issues in others, men are generally still unable to share their own struggles.
  • Generational attitudes and traditional gender norms, still hold men back from sharing their mental health problems, out of a responsibility they put on themselves to be “strong” and therefore not allowing themselves to be vulnerable or appear to show weakness.
  • Everyone processes grief in their own way. Addressing the topic and regularly asking how they are may benefit some but could be detrimental to others. Therefore, It’s important to pay attention to the individual’s response when discussing bereavement.
  • Friendship circles and support networks are crucial for maintaining good mental wellbeing. For the comradery and company of course, but also for keeping the opportunities to reach out to likeminded people open. When men lose their friendship circles, they narrow their chances of confiding in others during times of need.

It was a truly powerful evening and will no doubt be the first of many.

Over the course of the Let’s Talk Bereavement campaign, our eyes were opened to the extent of support needed for men and men’s mental health in the wake of a bereavement. One of the elements that we pride ourselves on as a charity is the fact that we are BOLD, and willing to try new things and break new ground in order to provide support to those within our care that need it.

2wish was created so that anyone suddenly bereaved by the death of a child or young person aged 25 and under, would never feel alone and we continue to uphold that commitment for both men and women in equal measure.

Click here to find out more about the ways in which we can support those who have been affected by death in young people.

If you need support or would like to enquire about any of our services, please contact us on support@2wish.org.uk

View our full gallery below…

Watch the video that launched our Let’s Talk Bereavement campaign…