Kirkcaldy funeral director set to take on half marathon to raise awareness for men's mental health

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A Kirkcaldy funeral director is taking part in the Edinburgh Half Marathon this May 29 to raise cash for men’s mental health charity, Andy’s Man Club.

John Penman, who works for Fife Funeral Services, is hoping to raise not only money for the charity but also awareness for men’s mental health after using Andy’s Man Club’s services when he was going through a difficult time in his life.

John sadly lost his partner of 14 years unexpectedly in 2020 and found himself struggling with his mental health.

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John is raising cash and awareness for men's mental health. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.John is raising cash and awareness for men's mental health. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
John is raising cash and awareness for men's mental health. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

He said: “I chose to raise money for Andy’s Man Club as it helped me through a difficult time of my life after my partner passed away two years ago.

“It is a great service for men who are facing mental health issues and they really try to break down the stigma that surrounds men’s mental health.

“When I lost my partner life was really getting on top of me, I tried to get appointments with health professionals to talk about what I was going through but there were so many hoops to jump through and it felt like no one was interested in helping me.

"I decided to visit Andy’s Man Club in Glenrothes and even after one meeting I felt like it really helped me to talk about what I was going through.”

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John, a keen runner, said that exercise helps him to work through any mental health issues that he may be facing.

"Running and exercise in general is really good for mental health,” he said. “Just being out in the fresh air helps to calm me down and also helps to work through any issues I have.

"The days of being a manly man and the attitude of just getting on with it are gone, we need to remove the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and make it known that you are not being weak for wanting to talk about any problems that you may be facing."

John added: “Especially with all of the problems in the world now it is even more important to talk than ever – everyone feels stress, it’s how you cope with it that matters.”

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