A Lincoln gym owner who has endured his own struggles with mental health is lifting 5,224kg daily this month for Movemeber – in memory of every single life lost to suicide in 2020.
In 2020, there were 5,224 suicides registered in England and Wales, which is the equivalent to 10 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Office for National Statistics. Around three-quarters of registered suicide deaths in 2020 were men, which follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.
Joe Green, 23, opened Grid Gym on Lincoln High Street in September this year and wants to encourage more men to open up about their feelings and mental health issues.
He is hoping to raise £5,224 for Movember Europe – donate to Joe’s fundraiser here.
He told The Lincolnite: “I’ve had high and low periods where I’ve struggled with stress with work, relationships, and the usual stresses.
“There is a stigma with blokes to not be transparent and not open up about feelings, which is why you see such a discrepancy in suicide as 75% who lost their lives in 2020 were men.
“When I had mental health problems, I didn’t open up and wish I had and want to encourage others to speak up. We have an open forum at the gym where it is just as much about talking to each other as the fitness. Mental health and fitness are massively interlinked and it can help develop positive habits.”
He added: “Although Movember is primarily aimed at men, the last year and the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. I’m extremely passionate about trying to make a difference.
“Alongside the fundraising, I’ll be trying to speak about topics of mental health that I’ve personally struggled with, and point people towards different resources that are available to them, that would have been a help to me when I was going through troublesome times.”
Joe’s Movember challenge will include a mix of compound exercises with weights such as back squats and trap bar dead lifting, as well as growing his moustache. Other gym members and friends will join Joe on his challenge at various points throughout the month.