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Lansdowne Member Doug Leddin took a poll on Twitter yesterday asking his 7800 followers if they suffer, have suffered or have been affected by any form of Mental Health. After over 4000 votes, just shy of 80% of the respondents voted yes. We, at Lansdowne FC, are keen to open the conversation around mental health particularly amongst our players. With that in mind, we’d like to hand you over to one of our Senior squad, Joe O’Brien…

Movember for Men’s Health

POLAR BEARS. Read that again. Polar bears… I bet you didn’t think you’d be reading about polar bears today? And now you’re probably thinking about polar bears right now! Reading this article isn’t some weird witchcraft, after all, Halloween is over. What this weird polar bear experiment shows us is that sometimes we can’t really help how we think, what we think about or how we feel. Sometimes things in our life or our experiences (like me writing about polar bears) influence how we think and feel, and these thoughts or feelings are often upon us before we realise it.

Mental health is something we speak about a lot in the media, but it hasn’t quite reached the same levels in practice, and is something I (and Lansdowne as a club) want to change. In the world we live in, men often feel that they have to put on a brave face, that big boys don’t cry and that men don’t have feelings. This has led to men being 3 times more likely to die from suicide than women, because they feel ashamed, stigmatized and judged. It has to change.

I’m a Lansdowne senior player who works in mental health. I work with a company called Spectrum Mental Health and last year I set up a project called ‘Head First’, which promotes mental health awareness on social media and online.

This month is November, or Mo-vember. Movember are a charity dedicated to promoting men’s health, as men live on average 6 years shorter than women (on average). We also lose 60 men every single hour to suicide globally. So this month I’ll be doing two things to raise money for men’s mental health. The first thing is growing a moustache! The second is “Move for Movember”, which is walking 60km over the course of November to represent the 60 men that lose their lives every hour to suicide.

As I mentioned, I run a project on social media called Head First. If anyone has questions about their mental health or you want to reach me, my Instagram handle is @headfirst0 or you can drop me an email –

My team at Spectrum Mental Health offer services from counselling to corporate and workplace services. If you want to promote your mental health or your workplace wellbeing, feel free to send me a message, an email or say hi if you see me around the club!

If anyone would like to donate to what is a great cause, the link is attached below. If you (yes YOU!) could spare even the price of one coffee or one drink, we could really contribute to something vitally important.

Thank you in advance.

Joe O’Brien.

Note: we’ll be following Joe’s progress through the month, starting off with his ‘bare’ face!

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